NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Yankees expect Ivan Nova to be a lot stronger next season, two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
But that doesn't mean they won't trade him in the right deal this winter.
According to the New York Post, the Bombers are open to dealing the veteran right-hander, along with his cost-effective 2016 salary, for a pitcher who can help them win now and is under control contractually for more years.
Nova, who will turn 29 in January, is scheduled to make $4.5 million next season and will be a free agent at this time next year. He could be an attractive option for teams looking to quickly fill a hole.
Nova went 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA in 17 starts this past season, his first action since going down with an elbow injury in late April of 2014. Though he did get knocked around from time to time, Nova routinely showed off a fastball in the mid-90s and his signature 12-to-6 curveball, which has long been one of his main out pitches.
The Yankees are looking to improve a rotation that had a lot of issues during the 2015 season. Masahiro Tanaka is currently the club's ace, but will remain a concern due to the partially torn ligament in his pitching elbow. Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi combined for 26 wins but also dealt with debilitating injuries. CC Sabathia finished 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA before entering alcohol rehab prior to New York's AL wild-card game loss to Houston.
It appears the only non-question mark in the starting five is 21-year-old Luis Severino, who went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts and will almost certainly be slotted in the Yankees' top three next season.
Nova is 46-33 with a 4.33 ERA in 110 games, including 103 starts, during this six-year career.
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