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Pirates attempting to extend Ivan Nova

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Brink is reporting that the Pirates have made two extension offers to Ivan Nova.  The talks were initiated by the Pirates, but the amounts of their offers aren't known.  Brink states that Nova's representatives are looking for $70M over five years.  Discussions are ongoing.

The logic behind this isn't hard to figure.  The Pirates badly need a veteran starter for 2017 and the coming free agent market looks abysmal.  Currently, the only locks for the rotation are Gerrit Cole, whose health may be a question mark, and Jameson Taillon, although Chad Kuhl should be fairly close to a lock.  The other internal candidates would be Tyler Glasnow, Steven Brault, Trevor Williams and Drew Hutchison.  Brault and Williams both appear to need more time in AAA, and Glasnow's situation is highly unpredictable.  Hutchison simply doesn't look like a major league pitcher right now.

There's no way the Pirates are going to agree to anything like 5/$70, so their one chance of signing Nova is to hope that he likes it enough in Pittsburgh -- reportedly, he is happy with the Pirates -- to agree to a below-market deal.  There's a much better chance of a deal like that happening before Nova actually gets on the market and starts receiving the loony offers that he's probably going to receive.  The real question is probably whether the Pirates will abandon their usual insistence on every deal being a bargain, because Nova is going to be well paid after this year, whether he gives a hometown discount or not, and he undoubtedly knows it.