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Pirates 'still engaged' with Ivan Nova

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates say they are "still engaged" with Ivan Nova's representatives, Stephen J. Nesbitt tweets.

This is ... better than the Pirates categorically cutting off contact with Nova, I guess. But "still engaged" could, and likely does, mean the Bucs are just hanging around in case Nova for some reason comes way short of the kind of contract he likely anticipates. The free agent market is mostly pretty efficient, but sometimes players do fall through the cracks. Weirdly, there hasn't lately been much public discussion about Nova even with a starting pitching market that's pretty much down to Nova, Jason Hammel, Tyson Ross and a bunch of players with even more question marks.

It goes without saying that the Pirates can really use Nova, who could provide a big boost to a rotation that badly needs one. I'm still not clear what direction the franchise is headed right now, but if they've pivoted from a mini-rebuild based around trading Andrew McCutchen to a mini-surge based around keeping him, then adding Nova would be a big step in the right direction.