The Marlins aren’t having the best offseason. They gave out a three-year, $18 million contract to 30-year-old catcher John Buck, a .243/.301/.421 career hitter, they got very little in return when they traded power-hitting second baseman Dan Uggla to the Braves, and now they’re having trouble locking up one of their top arbitration-eligible pitchers.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Marlins have “arrived at a stalemate” in their long-term contract negotiations with right-hander Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco is under team control for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but his price is about to shoot up via arbitration and the Fish have been notoriously cheap in similar situations in the past. Which is why Morosi suspects that Nolasco might be traded.
The 28-year-old posted a solid 4.51 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 26 starts for the Marlins in 2010, striking out 147 batters against just 33 walks. If he is indeed going to be shopped, many teams will come calling. Quality starting pitching is always in desire around the league, even more so in this week free agent market.
If the Marlins can’t find a good trade package for him, they’ll ink him to a one-year deal worth around $6 million. He made $3.8 million in 2010 through arbitration.
UPDATE: Nolasco’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told MLB Trade Rumors that he is still “optimistic” about working out a long-term contract. The Marlins would surely prefer that, if the price is right.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.