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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.