Reds agree to minor league deal with Jason Marquis

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Via the Reds’ assistant director of media relations, Jamie Ramsey …

Marquis struggled in 2014 with the Phillies’ Triple-A team and posted a rough 4.05 ERA (84 ERA+) and 1.52 WHIP across 117 2/3 innings with the Padres in 2013. The 36-year-old right-hander is doubtful to make any sort of positive impact in 2015 with Cincinnati. Marquis was part of a five-player trade in December 2003 that sent J.D. Drew to the Braves and Adam Wainwright to the Cardinals — one of Walt Jocketty’s best moves during his tenure in St. Louis. Jocketty has been the Reds’ general manager since the spring of 2008.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.