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Yankees likely to tender contract to Nova

Clubs must make decisions on arbitration-eligible players by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday

NEW YORK -- The Yankees believe that Ivan Nova is primed to enjoy a bounceback season as he regains his command following Tommy John surgery, and general manager Brian Cashman has said that he plans to tender the right-hander a contract for 2016.

Clubs must tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and though Nova was disappointed by his performance in 17 starts after coming back from surgery, the Yankees expect his numbers to improve.

"He'll be better because he's a full year removed from Tommy John," Cashman said recently. "Those guys, the first year they come back, usually don't have full command, but they have full strength. The second year is when they blossom back."

Nova was 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA after returning in June, earning $3.3 million this past year. The Yanks are said to be open to trading Nova, who turns 29 in January and will be eligible for free agency after 2016.

Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren and Justin Wilson are the other Yankees pitchers eligible for salary arbitration, all of whom will be tendered contracts. Pineda ($2.1 million in 2015) and Eovaldi ($3.3 million in 2015) project to receive the largest raises.

Infielders Dustin Ackley and Didi Gregorius, the latter of whom is a Super Two player, are also expected to be tendered contracts.

The Yanks' 40-man roster is full, suggesting that the club may look for other avenues to clear space. Right-hander Caleb Cotham, who posted a 6.52 ERA in 12 appearances, and catcher Austin Romine, a .201 hitter in 169 career big league at-bats, are potential candidates.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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