ST. LOUIS -- Ricky Nolasco cleaned out his locker and said his goodbyes in the Marlins clubhouse Sunday morning.
The Marlins traded Nolasco to the Dodgers late Saturday night for minor-league pitchers Angel Sanchez, Steven Ames and Josh Wall with Los Angeles agreeing to pay the remaining $5.7 million on Nolasco’s contract.
“I’m going to miss these guys here more than I can say,” said Nolasco, who flew to Arizona on Sunday to join the Dodgers for a key series that begins Monday against the Diamondbacks. “But they understand it is a business, and I’ll see them in August. I made a lot of lifelong friends here. I’m never going to forget that.”
Although Nolasco felt bittersweet departing after eight seasons with the Marlins, he said he was excited to be able to pitch for his favorite team that he said he watched around 15 times a year with his dad and brothers growing up.
“The phone has been nonstop,” Nolasco said. “Obviously, I’ve never dealt with anything like that to where the phone was just blowing up.
“Everybody is just excited, everybody from back home. Even people who don’t have my number, on Twitter and stuff, obviously where I grew up, they’re all excited to see this happen. It’s just an exciting time.”
Nolasco’s teammates wished him well and were happy he ended up in a good situation.
“He’s going to the perfect spot for him,” Giancarlo Stanton said. “To be able to go to where you want without having a choice is always a little extra bonus.”
Nolasco, who went 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 18 starts for the Marlins, doesn’t know when he will make his first start for the Dodgers, but it could come during the Diamondbacks series.
Slowey to start
Nolasco’s trade meant Kevin Slowey’s return to the rotation for the time being. Slowey will start Monday in what would have been Nolasco’s spot against the Braves.
“[Manager Mike Redmond] talked to me about it [Saturday],” Slowey said. “He knows the importance of preparation. I don’t think I’ll know until [Monday], but I’ll be as ready as I can be and the preparation will be there.”
Ames and Wall were assigned to Triple A New Orleans, and Sanchez, the only starter of the group, was sent to Single A Jupiter.
Slowey will likely remain the fifth starter in the rotation until at least the All-Star break. Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations, said Saturday the team will use the second half to evaluate several potential starters, including Tom Koehler (1-5, 4.70 ERA in 69 innings in 10 starts this season), who was recently sent to Triple A to clear room for Henderson Alvarez, and prospects right-handers Anthony DeSclafani, Sam Dyson and lefties Adam Conley and Brian Flynn.
• The Marlins also recalled pitcher Chris Hatcher from New Orleans and transferred infielder Chris Valaika to the 60-day disabled list.
• Monday: Marlins RHP Slowey (3-6, 4.24 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves LHP Mike Minor (8-4, 3.15), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (0-0, 5.40) vs. Braves RHP Julio Teheran (6-4, 3.23), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Slowey is 1-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 starts this season.