- Associated Press - Monday, December 20, 2010

MIAMI (AP) - The Florida Marlins may have a starting pitcher for Game 2 in their new ballpark.

Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco has agreed to a $26.5 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said Monday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract won’t become final until Nolasco passes a physical.

Nolasco gets $6 million next season, $9 million in 2012 and $11.5 million in 2013.

The agreement further solidifies the Marlins‘ rotation as they prepare to open a new stadium in 2012. Ace Josh Johnson has three years remaining on a $39 million contract he signed a year ago.


Nolasco made $3.8 million last season, when he went 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA. He missed the final month after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery but is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Nolasco is 54-39 with a 4.45 ERA in five years with the Marlins, and his strikeout-walk ratio of 638-169 over that time ranks with the best in baseball.

Florida’s rotation next season will also include Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad and newcomer Javier Vazquez, a veteran who this month signed a $7 million, one-year deal. The perennially thrifty Marlins are projected to have a payroll of about $55 million, the same as this year.