Not a lot of pub on this signing but once again ESPN's Buster Olney raves about another Rays move:
"Some insight, from ESPN Research monster Mark Simon:
• Hitters swung and missed at his pitches last season 29.2 percent of the time. NL average is about 20 percent.
• Hitters swung at 79 of his changeups last year, and hitters missed 39.2 percent of them (league average is about 28 percent).
• Right-handers batted .189 against him, 75 points below the league average.
• His opponents on-base percentage was below .300 against both righties and lefties -- .289 against righties, .292 against lefties (league averages were .318 and .348, respectively).
Five pitchers this season:
• Pitched at least 50 innings.
• Struck out a batter or more per inning.
• Had an ERA of 2.00 or better.
Overall, Nelson had an extremely impressive season last year. And, while I know that 20 teams were in contact with his agent, it seems 1.3 million is rather small. I know he wanted to stay in the area, but if someone had an offer well over 2 mil, I would assume he would've thought about taking it. Even with some regression, this has the chance to be an extremely great signing for the Rays. If he has anywhere near this type of season this year, he will be worth more than Fuentes or Hoffman, the top two free agent relievers remaining on the market. Sure seems like a low-risk, extremely high potential reward move by the savvy Rays FO. At 1.3 mil, it's a great signing.
Any thoughts on if he can duplicate this year's numbers?