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Ricky Nolasco the next for a multiyear contract?

Joe Frisaro is reporting that the Marlins are considering signing Ricky Nolasco to a multiyear contract, depending on how he performs in 2010.

After 2010, Nolasco will be entering his third and final season of arbitration. The Marlins have already spoken with Nolasco's agent, Matt Sosnick, who also represents Johnson, about doing a multiyear deal next offseason.

The condition is if Nolasco has another solid season, the squad would be receptive to locking up the right-hander long-term.

I am all for signing Ricky to a multiyear contract.  Nolasco, in many ways, can be the Marlins most devastating pitcher to face when he is on the mound and I have little doubt, if he stays healthy, that won't change.  Ricky really look like the Ricky of old once he returned from the minor league stint.  I really don't think he did much differently in the minor league stint than he was doing before, but it gave him time, against lesser competition, to get everything together.  In 2007 Nolasco threw only 21.1 innings before calling it a season due to an elbow injury.  In 2008, he threw 212.1 innings which is a lot coming off an injury.  In 2009, Ricky was hit and miss, mostly miss, in the early part of season, which isn't surprising given the increase in workload on his arm from 2007 to 2008.  Pitchers who increase their workload that dramatically are often not as sharp the following year.  And Nolasco wasn't.  But given some time he worked out the kinks.

Ricky finished the season with the 3rd highest K/BB in the NL (4.432) which was about the same as the number he put up in 2008 (4.429).  In doing this, he increased his K/9 from 7.9 in 2008 to 9.5 in 2009.  That is a really big jump.  On the downside his BB/9 increased to 2.1 in 2009 from the 1.8 in the previous year.  Still, 2.1 BB/9 was good enough to finish the 10th best in the league.

Ricky's BABIP (batting average of balls in play) increase in 2009 (.284 to .336) mostly came from the early part of the season, and also the fact the Marlins outfielders weren't exactly in the best configuration.  Let's face it, Cody was playing left.  Hermida was in right.  Maybin was in center and was lost out there at the time.  Expect for his BABIP to come down.  The same thing happened with his strand rate, pretty low early on but improved as the season progressed.

What I am getting at here is forget the increase in ERA, he had a really good season once everything started clicking.  And there is no reason to think he won't again this year.  So the bottom line is: should Ricky stay healthy he will be the next recipient of a multiyear contract and deservedly so.  If the Marlins still have the purse strings open.

Assuming the Marlins only sign him to a three-year deal, my guess is it will be between 25-27 million.  You may have other ideas.