Update: Marlins reach agreement with Javier Vazquez

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The Marlins have made a couple of questionable moves this offseason.  This won’t be one of them.

A source told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that the Fish are nearing a contract with free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez.  The Nationals, Rockies, Cardinals and Cubs all showed interest, but Javy has a home in south Florida and that may have helped the Marlins win him over.

Vazquez is thought to be seeking an incentive-laden one-year contract in the hopes of revitalizing his career.  A recipient of Cy Young Award votes in 2009, he posted an ugly 5.32 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 31 appearances (26 starts) for the Yankees this past season.

Many believe that he’ll be able to bounce back with a move back to the National League.

Vazquez was offered arbitration by the Yankees and will net his old team a supplemental round draft pick once his new contract is signed.

UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com says the deal is done.  As expected, it’s s a one-year contract, and probably packed with performance-based incentives.

UPDATE II: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the contract is worth between $6 million and $7 million.  A bargain for the Marlins if Javy can turn things around.

Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games

Gregorius will wear a mask
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Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”

Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.

A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.

Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.

Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.