Dodgers close to acquiring Carlos Marmol from Cubs

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Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Dodgers “are closing in on a trade” for Carlos Marmol, who was designated for assignment by the Cubs last week.

Marmol is owed about $5 million for the rest of this season, so presumably the Cubs have agreed to eat a significant portion of that money to either save a little something or get a minor leaguer in return for the impending free agent.

Marmol was horrible for the Cubs this season and has always gone through extremely frustrating stretches because of his incredibly bad control, but from 2007-2012 he posted a 2.90 ERA with the majors’ highest strikeout rate and lowest opponents’ batting average.

As a highly paid closer Marmol was mostly a mess, but as a bargain-bin middle reliever he’d certainly be worth a flier. Even this year, while struggling overall, he has 32 strikeouts in 28 innings.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.