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.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals have signed free agent reliever Neftali Feliz, pending a physical. The Brewers designated Feliz for assignment last week and released him on Monday.
Feliz, 29, opened the season as the Brewers’ closer, but struggled and was eventually taken out of the role in mid-May, giving way to Corey Knebel. In 29 appearances spanning 27 innings with the Brewers, Feliz posted a 6.00 ERA with a 21/15 K/BB ratio.
The Royals have had bullpen issues of their own, so Feliz will try to provide some stability given his track record. It’s not clear yet if the Royals want to let Feliz get his feet wet at Triple-A or throw him right into the bullpen mix.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).