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Ivan Nova to Re-Sign with Pirates: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly came to terms Thursday with starting pitcher Ivan Nova on a three-year contract. 

Robert Murray of FanRag Sports, citing sources, first reported the three-year deal was worth $26 million, with a $2 million signing bonus. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, citing a source, confirmed Murray's report and noted the deal is still pending a physical. 

Nova watched his stock drop considerably across his final two-plus seasons with the New York Yankees. With his contract set to expire, the club traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in August, and the move seemed to provide the spark the Dominican Republic native needed.

The 29-year-old right-hander posted a 3.06 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP with 52 strikeouts in 64.2 innings across 11 starts after the move. It represented a significant improvement after putting up a 4.90 ERA in 21 appearances for the Yankees.

John Perrotto of Today's Knuckleball noted the veteran starter credited pitching coach Ray Searage and getting away from the bright lights of New York for the turnaround in September.

"He's a great pitching coach," Nova said. "We're having fun here with him. I think that’s one of the keys. It gives me the confidence to go out there and have fun and do the best that you can. We couldn't always have fun in New York."

Nova had three complete games during the stretch run with Pittsburgh, which matched his total from his six-plus years with the Yankees. His strong finish also showcased the potential he flashed at times, but never fully capitalized, while in pinstripes.

All told, his overall numbers don't jump off the page with a 4.30 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 595 strikeouts in 793.2 career innings. He's in the middle of what's typically a player's prime years, however, and it's reasonable to believe he can still improve in 2017 and beyond.

Staying in Pittsburgh certainly seems like the right decision on the surface. It gives him an opportunity to build off the progress he made during the latter stages of last season and keeps him in a smaller market, which fit his personality well.

It's also a wise signing for the Pirates. The team still has several question marks in its rotation behind Gerrit Cole, though it hopes Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow and Chad Kuhl can assume more vital roles. Nova can fill a spot in the middle or back of the rotation with the ability to pitch like a No. 2 starter.

Ultimately, it's no guarantee he'll parlay his successful finish in 2016 into a breakout season. But it's a risk worth taking for a team needing pitching depth. 

                                                         

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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