Cubs nearing long-term extension with Carlos Marmol

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According to David Kaplan and Fred Mitchell, two baseball writers for the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs are nearing agreement on a long-term extension with closer Carlos Marmol.

There’s not much information available at the moment.  The bit of news only got two sentences on the Tribune‘s website, one which pretty much reads like the introduction here in this post and one that says an announcement should come “before pitchers and catchers report” to spring training next weekend.

Marmol was eligible for arbitration this winter for the second time in his career.  He requested a $5.65 million salary and was offered $4.1 million by the Cubs when figures were exchanged in mid-January.

The Cubs can simply decide to buy out Marmol’s final two arbitration seasons with a two-year contract.  Or they can go big, wrapping the Dominican fireballer up through several years of free agency.

The 28-year-old finished with a 2.55 ERA and 38 saves last season for Chicago, fanning 138 batters in 77 2/3 innings for a record 15.99 K/9.  He’s entering his prime, by all accounts, and that prime should be a good one.

Max Scherzer reaches 300 strikeouts on the season

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Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.

Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.

At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.