The average salary when opening-day rosters are finalized Sunday will break the $4 million benchmark for the first time, according to a study of all major league contracts by The Associated Press. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tops players at $31 million and Los Angeles projects to open the season with a payroll at about $270 million, easily a record. ”We’re enjoying a tremendously bountiful season in baseball,” said Toronto pitcher R.A. Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner with the New York Mets.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on April 1st, 2015
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Infielder Donovan Solano and outfielder Don Kelly have been told they will be on the Miami Marlins’ opening-day roster. Manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday he decided to keep Solano over Reid Brignac because of Solano’s ability to play second, third and shortstop, as well as steal some bases. Solano hit .252 in 310 at-bats for the Marlins last season. Kelly signed with Miami as a free agent during the offseason.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 31st, 2015
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Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen exited early because of a blister on his right big toe Monday in a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Storen issued a two-out walk to Kolten Wong, then left the mound in the sixth inning. ”You start sweating, it gets hot, you start having friction down there and he developed a blister and then the next pitch it ripped,” Washington manager Matt Williams said. The setback is the second of the spring for the right-handed Storen, who missed time after undergoing surgery to remove part of a bone in his left hand.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 31st, 2015
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Michael Cuddyer hit his sixth home run this spring and Lucas Duda homered, doubled and drove in five runs as the New York Mets beat the Miami Marlins 7-1 on Monday.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 30th, 2015
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VIERA, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Harper homered for the second straight day and Jose Lobaton hit a three-run drive run in the eighth, one of seven home runs on a windy afternoon as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 11-7 Sunday.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 30th, 2015
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Henderson Alvarez has been picked to start the Miami Marlins’ opener against the Atlanta Braves on April 6. Alvarez went 12-7 with a 2.65 ERA for Miami last season. The right-hander, who turns 25 on April 18, was the favorite because Jose Fernandez is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Alvarez pitched a no-hitter against Detroit on the final day of the 2013 season.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 29th, 2015
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Mat Latos followed his worst start of the spring with his best, helping the Miami Marlins play to a 1-1 tie with the Houston Astros. Five days after allowing nine runs in three innings to the Mets, Latos rebounded by limiting the Astros to one run in 5 1-3 innings. ”I think you see night and day,” Latos said. Today everything was downhill.” While Latos’ improvement was significant, it left room for improvement.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 29th, 2015
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As a baseball player, Ichiro Suzuki is simply one of the best we’ve seen in the past 20 years. No one could possibly deny that. As a provider of memorable quotes, however, he just might be the most underrated athlete in the entire professional sports landscape. Lines like “If I’m in a slump, I ask myself for advice” and “I’ll walk on my hands before I use crutches,” rank pretty closely with baseball’s most quirky and quotable legends, such as Yogi Berra and Casey Stengel. He’s a really clever guy whose sense of humor and undeniable charm translate well in any language or walk of life. He’s just Ichiro, and that’s always good enough for us. Perhaps that was good enough for the Miami Marlins as well. Back on Jan. 23, they reached a one-year agreement with the 41-year-old outfielder that will allow him to continue his career in the United States and continue his quest for 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball.  [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ] The deal came at a time when Ichiro was seriously wondering if a market would ever develop for his services. He was working out back in Japan, waiting and waiting and waiting for nearly three months for the phone to ring with a major league offer. It was an experience unlike any other he’d had in baseball, because after all, this is Ichiro, a sure-fire Hall of Famer whenever he decides to hang it up. And as only Ichiro can, he was able to sum up his experience with a most unique comparison.  From the Wall Street Journal:   “That must be what it feels like to be a puppy at a pet shop,” Ichiro explained in his unique style. “Amongst all the cute little puppies jumping and tumbling for prospective owners, there’s one who’s a little older, a little more mature, who keeps getting passed over for the more adorable ones. When someone finally comes along and points a finger at him, an undying loyalty is born.” We never thought of it that way, but that’s about as good and adorable a description as one could possibly come up with. Marlins: “How much is that doggy in the window?” Ichiro’s agent: “Oh, let’s say $2 million for one year.” Marlins: “We’ll take him!”  Of course, the Marlins already feature an impressive group of young pups, particularly in their outfield. In fact, Giancarlo Statnon, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich make up perhaps the most talented young outfield in the entire National League, which means Ichiro will be relegated to the experienced backup role.  [Check out The Stew's 2015 MLB division previews: NL East | AL East | NL Central ] Really, it’s not a bad gig for Ichiro to have at this stage in his career. For the Marlins, though, it’s an exceptional deal because he’ll be a great source of knowledge for those young guys in terms of not only playing the game, but also preparing for the game day in and day out. That’s perhaps the most impressive thing about Ichiro. No one has ever outworked him, and helping to instill that mindset on those blooming talents could make his impact on the Marlins last far beyond the one year.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 28th, 2015
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The New York Yankees entered spring training with more questions than answers regarding the outlook of their roster. Fortunately, the answers they’re receiving so far have been mostly encouraging, and that continued on Friday with Joe Griardi’s announcement that right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will get the opening-day pitching assignmen t. According to Girardi, Tanaka, who’s pitching through a small tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, will be slightly limited when he takes the ball against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. But he’s in a better position than long-time ace CC Sabathia, who’s coming back from July surgery on his right knee.  “When we came into spring training, our main focus was to make sure they were both healthy,” Girardi said of Sabathia and Tanaka, who are both coming back from major injuries. “We took it slow because of things they dealt with the year before. “If CC wouldn’t have had the (knee) problem and pitched all 30 starts, it probably would have been a non-issue who was going to go No. 1, but it didn’t happen that way and we had to make sure people were ready. I know it’s a big deal, and it might be somewhat of a deal to them, but when CC looks back, he’s going to worry about Octobers.” [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ] Sabathia started the last six season openers for New York and had nine straight overall dating back to his time in Cleveland, so this is certainly a notable development. It’s also a remarkable achievement for Tanaka for a couple reasons.  First and foremost, there was no guarantee he’d be healthy enough to pitch following last July’s diagnosis. So far though, Tanaka has looked every bit as strong as he did early last season, posting a dominant 1.74 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio in 10 Grapefruit League innings. Beyond Tanaka’s health, which is obviously the foremost concern for fans, it’s easy to forget that only 13 months ago he was entirely new to the United States and had limited experience pitching against major league talent. He was forced to make a quick transition, and he did so smoothly, going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA and 141/21 K/BB ratio in 136 innings. Those numbers made the decision a no-brainer once Tanaka proved healthy, and indicate New York’s investment will be worthwhile as long as the elbow holds.  “Absolutely it’ll be a great honor for me to pitch on opening day,” Tanaka said through an interpreter on Friday. “I think that being able to pitch on that very first day of the season, I think it says a lot about what the organization is expecting out of a pitcher. So in that sense I believe it would probably mean a lot to a lot of starting pitchers that are starting on opening day.” [Check out The Stew's 2015 MLB division previews: NL East | AL East | NL Central ] Girardi also confirmed that Michael Pineda will start game two against Toronto and Sabathia is lined up for game three, which takes place on April 9. Nathan Eovaldi, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins, will make his Yankees debut against the Boston Red Sox on April 10. The Yankees won’t need a fifth starter until the second week of the season.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 28th, 2015
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Two transactions midway through spring training that drew little notice heralded significant progress for the Miami Marlins. Top pitching prospects Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino were optioned to the minor leagues – moves reflecting the franchise’s improved depth of talent. ”In previous years they would probably already be in the big leagues,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. Following a busy offseason highlighted by the signing of Giancarlo Stanton to a record $325 million contract, Miami’s expectations are unusually lofty.

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Post info: By TheMarlins on March 27th, 2015
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