Dodgers acquire Ricky Nolasco from Marlins

Ricky Nolasco is finally coming home.

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired the right-hander and Southern

California native from the Miami Marlins on Saturday in exchange

for three minor league pitchers.

The Dodgers sent Steven Ames, Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez to

Miami in the deal. Los Angeles also received international signing

bonus slot No. 96, which is valued at $197,000.

”It’s somebody that can help us out,” Dodgers general manager

Ned Colletti said after his team’s 4-2 loss at San Francisco.

”He’s an accomplished big league starter. We felt that we needed

to add a starter at this point in the season. We had conversations

with (Miami) going back a few days, actually about a week now, and

we continued down that path until we got it done.”

Nolasco made 18 starts for the Marlins this season, going 5-8

with a 3.85 ERA. The 30-year-old Nolasco is 81-72 with a 4.44 ERA

in 213 games over eight seasons.

He ends his tenure with the Marlins as the franchise’s leader in

wins (81), games started (197) and innings pitched (1,225 2-3

innings). In a statement, Nolasco thanked the Marlins for ”some of

the best times of my life” and said he looked forward to the

opportunity to return to the Los Angeles area.

Nolasco was raised in Corona, and attended Rialto High School.

The Chicago Cubs originally selected Nolasco in the fourth round of

the 2001 draft. He was acquired by the Marlins in 2005 and had been

one of the most reliable arms for one of the majors’ most frugal

franchises ever since.

”Going to play for the Dodgers, the team that I have always

rooted for, is a dream come true,” Nolasco said. ”The team is

packed with talent and an ownership group that is committed to

winning, and I’d like nothing more than to play a part in bringing

a World Series back to L.A. I couldn’t be more excited to play in

front of my family and friends in Dodger Stadium during this season

and hopefully for many more seasons to come.”

Nolasco’s addition helped ease the Dodgers’ latest loss.

The Giants, among other teams, were reportedly interested in

Nolasco. Instead, San Francisco watched its big-spending NL West

rival swipe away another commodity.

With Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu entrenched

as starters, the Dodgers didn’t need a new No. 1 pitcher. But

Nolasco’s acquisition should help overcame the absences of Josh

Beckett (left groin strain) and Chad Billingsley (right elbow pain)

at the back end of the rotation as Los Angeles looks to make a

playoff push.

”He’s been a good starter for a while now,” Kershaw said of

Nolasco. ”I’m excited to get him in the rotation. It’s exciting

for us, for sure. He’s good.”

The Marlins got back what they covet most: prospects with small

salaries and potential, albeit not the most coveted ones in the

Dodgers’ farm system.

The 26-year-old Wall went 0-1 with an 18.00 ERA in six relief

appearances for the Dodgers this season. He is 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA

in 25 games for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Ames, 25, was 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 30 appearances for

Albuquerque this year. Sanchez, 23, is a combined 2-7 with a 4.67

ERA in 16 games (15 starts) with Single-A Great Lakes and Single-A

Rancho Cucamonga.

Nolasco last pitched Wednesday in Atlanta. He gave up two runs

on six hits, striking out seven in seven innings in the Marlins’

6-3 win. He would be in line to pitch for the Dodgers early next

week, though Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was still sorting out

his rotation.

”He wants to be out there,” said shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who

was traded from the Marlins last season. ”I was with him for six

or seven years. Nobody had a complaint about him. Great guy.”

Colletti declined to discuss other trades the team has, or will,

explore. He also declined to mention the other teams who were

interested in Nolasco. But, Colletti added, he expects to stay busy

before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

”It’s not the only priority,” Colletti said. ”We think when

we get healthy the offense will be fine. Pitching is always a

priority when you get to this time of year.”