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.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.