NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Saturday, December 5, 2015, 1:40 AM
Ivan Nova might be the most likely pitcher to give the Yankees 200-plus innings in 2016, Cashman says.
“I’d easily say Nova,” is how the GM put it. “I feel comfortable about that.”
But Cashman is listening to trade suggestions about Nova, anyway, and says that will show whether Nova, who came back from Tommy John surgery last season, is worth more to the Yanks as a pitcher or a trade chip.
“That’s what the whole winter is going to play out,” Cashman said. “As of right now, he’s valuable to me, no doubt about it, unless somebody makes me think otherwise.”
Nova, who turns 29 in January, was 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA in 17 starts in his 2015 comeback. He’ll be a free agent after next season, so a strong campaign would put him in a lucrative position. But he’s never thrown 200 innings in his career — his high is 170.1 in 2012.
Masahiro Tanaka, who had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow in October, completed his physical therapy to recover from the operation, Cashman said. “He should be good to go in the spring, but I’m sure we’ll be careful with him nonetheless,” Cashman said. Tanaka is set to return to Japan soon, Cashman said, and he’s “got a throwing program in tow.”