This tidbit about Ricky Nolasco came to my attention and it was a cause of some concern.
While Rizzo declined to talk about players Washington would like to acquire in a trade, a baseball source indicated that the Nats have interest in Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who won 13 games this past season.
My first reaction was, this has to be a joke. I mean, I have an interest in being a billionaire but that doesn't mean it is going to happen. Then the darker side took over me and I thought, won't we have to throw in Cody Ross also in order to get Bonifacio, Jr.?
After awhile I couldn't stand it anymore and I emailed Ricky's agent, Matt Sosnick, and asked if the Marlins were shopping Nolasco, here is what he was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to say (via email):
I haven't heard anything about that, but I believe that he is going to have a monster year in 2010. He is the most underrated player that I represent.
First things first, if the Marlins were indeed shopping Ricky, one would think Mr. Sosnick would know. Since he can't confirm the rumor, I will sleep better. I hate the offseason.
Second things second, I completely agree that Nolasco is in line for an outstanding 2010. Ricky has the stuff to be dominating, that has been proven. And if you want an explanation for the rough patches early on last season, you don't have to get real fancy. In 2007, Ricky had elbow problems and only threw 21.1 innings for the Marlins. In 2008, Ricky was great but threw 212.1 innings. Generally the acceptable increase, especially for a young arm, is 30 innings over the previous year. Now, everyone knew he was going to throw more than 50 innings in 2008 but over 200 is a ton for coming off elbow problems. So it wasn't surprising when at times he wasn't as sharp last season. But last year he only threw 185 innings, so there wasn't an increase in stress on his arm. Meaning, he should be good to go.