Ricky Nolasco May Be New York Yankees' Target from Miami Marlins Firesale

Phil WatsonCorrespondent INovember 15, 2012

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Ricky Nolasco #47 pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Jason Arnold/Getty Images)
Jason Arnold/Getty Images

According to a report in Newsday Thursday night, the New York Yankees may have revived their interest in Miami Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco.

Erik Boland reported that, while the Yankees never made an offer to free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter, Nolasco is back on the radar. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweeted Wednesday morning that Hunter had agreed to a two-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, pending a physical.

Two years ago, before the waiver-trade deadline in July 2011, Jon Heyman, then with Sports Illustrated, tweeted that New York tried to make a deal for Nolasco but was rebuffed because Florida was “aiming at (2012 with) new stadium.”

The Marlins are back into full salary-dump mode with Tuesday’s agreed-upon deal with the Toronto Blue Jays that would shed nearly $166 million in salary if it is approved by Major League Baseball. That approval is expected to happen by the end of the week.

The Yankees, according to Boland’s report, haven’t made offers to any free-agent position players this offseason, focusing first on the pitching staff.

Hiroki Kuroda won 16 games for the Yankees in 2012 and hasn’t decided whether he wants to remain in the U.S. or return to Japan. Kuroda turned down the Yankees’ one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer last week. Newsday reported last week that the right-hander has drawn interest from the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.

New York is also trying to get a deal done with longtime closer Mariano Rivera, who said last week that he wants to return in 2013.

Another piece of the pitching puzzle is 40-year-old Andy Pettitte. Pettitte has not yet said whether or not he wants to continue his career in 2013, but the general feeling is that he will be back. Manager Joe Girardi told Newsday last week that he believes the left-hander will return.

Nolasco could be an attractive target for the Yankees, particularly if Kuroda opts not to come back. The 29-year-old has a 76-64 career record in seven years with the Florida/Miami Marlins and has a contract which is friendly to New York’s budgetary plans.

Last season, Nolasco was 12-13 with a 4.48 ERA and 1.366 WHIP in 191 innings for the Marlins.

Nolasco has one year left on his contract and is due $11.5 million in 2013, according to Boland’s report. That wouldn’t have any effect on the Yankees’ plan to trim payroll in 2014.

Speaking of those plans, club president Randy Levine reiterated the $189 million goal in a report by David Lennon of Newsday from the owners’ meetings in Rosemont, Illinois on Wednesday.

Levine said the Yankees have a plan for the offseason and would not be pushed to deviate from it based on moves being made by other clubs.

Levine had this to say, as quoted by Newsday:

“We’ve won a lot of winters and not won the World Series...The tortoise usually wins the race. We have a plan. We’re going to try and execute it. We’ll react as it happens. We have a pretty good idea of where we want to be and we’re working on it. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.”

Spring training doesn’t open for another three months. Players not participating in the World Baseball Classic have until Feb. 20 to report to camps in Florida and Arizona, according to MLB.com.

That’s a lot of time to put a roster together.