Detroit Tigers sign Ivan Nova for starting pitching depth

Anthony Fenech
Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers have kept their eyes out this offseason to add some depth to their starting pitching.

The team — exposed by myriad injuries in 2019 — should have more protection in the rotation. The Tigers announced Monday they had signed veteran right-hander Ivan Nova to a contract. The deal is for one year and $1.5 million, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

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Nova, 33, is 89-76 with a 4.32 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 10 seasons with the Yankees, Pirates and White Sox. In 2019 with Chicago, he went 11-12 with a 4.72 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.

Nova figures to have an early lead on the fifth spot in the rotation, but the likelihood is he will have to earn the role in spring training, competing with righties such as Spencer Turnbull, Zack Godley and lefty Tyler Alexander.

With Nova, the Tigers get a dependable starting rotation piece. He has pitched at least 161 innings in each of the past four seasons. Most notably, Nova’s strikeout rate dropped nearly one batter per nine innings in 2019.

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