Agent: Ricky Nolasco and Marlins “about 20 percent” apart in contract extension talks

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Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins have been trying to work out a long-term contract extension for months and agent Matt Sosnick said yesterday that the two sides have agreed to an acceptable number of years but are “about 20 percent” apart on the salaries.

That may not seem like much of a gap, but it probably represents at least $4 million and perhaps as much as $7 million. In other words, there’s likely plenty of negotiating still to be done.

Sosnick also represents Marlins ace Josh Johnson, who after some similarly tough negotiations eventually signed a four-year, $39 million deal with the Marlins in January.

Nolasco is unlikely to get that much because he’s not as good as Johnson and is already under team control through 2012 as an arbitration eligible player, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com expects a deal of some kind to get worked out before spring training.

Adrian Gonzalez might retire after his contract is up if his back isn’t any better

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Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:

“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.

“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”

Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.