Carlos Marmol has discussed a Major League deal with three teams

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Teams are expected to watch free agent reliever Carlos Marmol pitch for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League playoffs, according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. MLBTR reports that Marmol has discussed a Major League deal with three different teams, though it is unclear if any of those offers are still on the table. Marmol is expected to sign at some point this month.

While his ERA hasn’t been catastrophically bad, Marmol has struggled immensely with his control, particularly over the past two seasons. In 104.1 innings of work, Marmol has walked 85 batters, 82 intentionally. His 18 percent walk rate state the start of 2012 is the worst among 98 relievers who logged at least 100 innings. The next worst is Rex Brothers at 12.7 percent. If he can ever overcome his control problems, he can still be a useful reliever, but Marmol will be entering his ninth season in the Majors. Sometimes you just are who you are.

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Bryce Harper
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Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.

No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.

Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:

Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.

Manfred didn’t stop there, however.

An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?