Cubs likely to trade Carlos Marmol before Opening Day

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Carlos Marmol was nearly traded to the Angels in November before Dan Haren’s health squashed the deal, but Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cubs “will most likely” find another trade to move the closer before Opening Day.

According to Levine “several teams, including the Detroit Tigers, are taking a hard look at” Marmol, who’s being paid $10 million in the final season of his contract.

Kyuji Fujikawa, who had incredible success closing in Japan, is waiting in the wings as an obvious replacement for Marmol, but presumably the Cubs would have to eat at least some of his salary to make a deal happen.

Miles Mikolas open to extension with Cardinals

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Though he has only accumulated just over two years of service time in the major leagues, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas can become a free agent after the 2019 season due to language in his current two-year, $15.5 million contract. He is open to signing a contract extension with the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Mikolas said, “It’s something that the Cardinals and my agency have to work out – if the numbers work out and everything turns out to be it’s absolutely something that could happen.” His agent, from Octagon, has had discussions with the Cardinals about a framework for an extension.

Mikolas, 30, spent the 2015-17 seasons pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japan Central League. He had great results, which he was able to leverage into a contract back in the U.S. Last season, his first in the majors since 2014, he finished sixth in NL Cy Young balloting and earned a spot on the NL All-Star roster. The right-hander went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a 146/29 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 innings.

This coming season, Mikolas will be part of a starting rotation that also includes Carlos Martínez, Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, and Adam Wainwright.