Michael Wuertz agrees to minor league deal with Marlins

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In addition to signing utility man Nick Green yesterday the Marlins also inked reliever Michael Wuertz to a minor-league deal.

Wuertz missed most of 2011 and all of 2012 while injured, but before that the right-hander was one of the more underrated setup man around with a 3.45 ERA and 412 strikeouts in 381 innings from 2004-2010.

His deal includes an invitation to spring training and Wuertz will try to win a middle relief job at age 34.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.