Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins haven't made progress on a contract extension

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Ricky Nolasco has been shut down for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee and Juan C. Rodriguez of the Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that his contract extension talks with the Marlins are also “going nowhere.”
According to Rodriguez “a significant gulf exists between the two sides” and “don’t hold your breath for a celebratory press conference.”
Nolasco is represented by agent Matt Sosick, who after some initial problems was able to work out a four-year, $39 million deal for Florida ace Josh Johnson, but with Nolasco already under team control through 2012 and age 29 as an arbitration eligible player the Marlins don’t have a ton of reason to commit guaranteed money to him.
Plus, because his ERAs have typically been much worse than his secondary numbers Nolasco should be relatively affordable via the arbitration process. He finishes with a 4.51 ERA this season after posting a 5.06 mark last season, although his strong win-loss records could help balance that out when the panel decides on his value.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.