Marlins sign Placido Polanco to one-year contract

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UPDATE: It’s now official.

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Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins are close to signing Placido Polanco to a one-year, $2.75 million deal, which I suppose beats the other two old, not-very-good third basemen they were linked to yesterday: Miguel Tejada and Brandon Inge.

Polanco is 37 years old and has missed 112 of a possible 324 games during the past two seasons while hitting just .269 with a .323 on-base percentage and .334 slugging percentage. He hasn’t topped a .750 OPS since 2008.

Of course, most of the other available free agent third basemen are even less appealing and, if healthy, Polanco might still be capable of hitting .280 with a decent on-base percentage and above-average defense. Given his age and back problems that doesn’t seem particularly likely, but $2.75 million is a reasonable enough price tag and it’s not like the Marlins are trying to win anything in 2013 anyway.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.