On the day the Phillies locked up J.T. Realmuto with a five-year, $115.5 million contract, they also made a smaller transaction, signing veteran pitcher Ivan Nova to a minor-league contract, according to a source who confirmed a report by USA TODAY.
Nova, 34, will attempt to win a roster spot in big-league spring training camp. The right-hander pitched to an 8.53 ERA in four starts with Detroit during the shortened season of 2020. Prior to that, he was 31-35 with a 4.36 ERA in 94 starts for the Pirates and White Sox from 2017 to 2019. The right-hander spent the first seven years of his career with the Yankees, where he pitched for Joe Girardi.
The Phillies also signed another former Yankee, right-hander Bryan Mitchell, to a minor-league on Tuesday.
Nova has a history of keeping the ball on the ground, something that will come in handy in Citizens Bank Park, if he makes the club. The Phillies are set at the top of the rotation with Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin. Spencer Howard and Vince Velasquez also return. If Nova can win a spot at the back end of the rotation, the Phils would be able to use Velasquez in the bullpen.