The Braves have finally answered the Cliff Lee signing by picking up former Phillie minor leaguer Yohan Flande, as reported by Enrique Rojas.â†µ
Ok, that's a joke, but Flande isn't scrap. He's a soon-to-be 25-year-old lanky lefty that posted a 4.38 ERA and 4.00 FIP in 27 starts and 158 innings for the Phillies' AA team last season. He flew through the lower ranks due to advanced stuff from the left side, but his strikeout rate caught up to him at AA. Flande's K/9 has steadily decreased as he has risen through the minors, from 8.3 in the Dominican League to 4.8 at AA. He holds a career 6.5 K/9 in five minor league seasons. His control is solid - career mark of 2.5 BB/9 - and he doesn't allow home runs, but the strikeout rate will do him in.â†µ
Flande is said to have a fastball ranging from high-80s to low-90s, a plus changeup and decent slider. He appeared in the Futures Game back in 2006, but that means nothing at this point. I wouldn't expect much from this signing, but a pleasant surprise would be nice.â†µ
Around the NL East, the Marlins have re-signed Ricky Nolasco, as reported by Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. It's a three-year deal worth $26.5 million, buying out his final two years of arbitration. It's a good deal for the Marlins, as Nolasco continues to put up solid peripherals despite two straight seasons of high ERA's. I expect the ERA to decrease for the duration of the extension. This gives the Marlins a few more years of Nolasco and Josh Johnson together.