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With Nolasco gone, Polanco new high man on paycheck pole

By trading Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins erased $5.7 million from their payroll ledger, which has shriveled up to near nothing over the past 12 months. With Nolasco off the payroll, the new high earner for the Marlins is Placido Polanco, who is making $2.75 million this season.

To put Polanco's salary into context, consider this: last year's major league average salary was $3.2 million. In other words, the Marlins don't have a player on their roster making the league average.

Technically, the player the Marlins are paying the most to this season ($4 million) is Heath Bell. The Marlins agreed to pick up $8 million of the $20 million owed to Bell for 2013 and '14 when they traded him last October to Arizona.


The deadline to sign draft picks is 5 p.m. Friday, and the Marlins are more optimistic about signing their top pick, Colin Moran, than they are their third-round choice, high school infielder Ben Deluzio. Deluzio is reportedly leaning toward attending Florida State even though the Marlins offered him the recommended slot amount for the 80th overall pick: $681,000.

Negotiations are ongoing with both players, and it could go down to the wire, just as it did with Andrew Heaney, the Marlins' first-round pick last year. Moran, the sixth overall pick, is one of only five first-round picks that has yet to sign. The Marlins offered the third baseman from the University of North Carolina the recommended slot amount of $3.52 million.


Though nothing has been finalized, manager Mike Redmond said that when the Marlins return from the All-Star break, they'll likely position Jose Fernandez at the back end of the rotation to give him extra rest.

Fernandez has thrown 98 2/3 innings so far and the Marlins intend to cap his innings total at no more than 170 innings. Despite the limitations on the rookie, Redmond said he hopes that Fernandez is given a chance to pitch in the All-Star Game.


Redmond said that Chris Coghlan could be cleared Thursday to resume baseball activities. Coghlan is scheduled to return to Texas that day to see the back specialist who has been treating him. Coghlan has been on the disabled list since June 9 with right calf nerve irritation.


As long as it doesn't rain -- and there doesn't appear to be any in the forecast -- the roof will remain open tonight at Marlins Park. That's good news for the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins are 0-12 this season with the roof open. It'll be the first time the Marlins have played a July game in their home park with the roof open.

Tonight's lineups:

Marlins: 1. Justin Ruggiano, lf; 2. Ed Lucas, 3b; 3. Giancarlo Stanton, 3b; 4. Marcell Ozuna, cf; 5. Logan Morrison, 1b; 6. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss; 7. Derek Dietrich, 2b; 8. Jeff Mathis, c; 9. Kevin Slowey, p.

Braves: 1. Andrelton Simmons, ss; 2. Jason Heyward, rf; 3. Justin Upton, lf; 4. Freddie Freeman, 1b; 5. Brian McCann, c; 6. Dan Uggla, 2b; 7. B.J. Upton, cf; 8. Chris Johnson, 3b; 9. Mike Minor, p.

Umpires: HP -- Dan Iassogna; 1B -- Mark Carlson; 2B -- Brian Knight; 3B -- Gerry Davis.