Nolasco begins spring training as Marlins ace

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JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Now that Ricky Nolasco's an ace, he might soon be traded. Such is life with the Miami Marlins.

Nolasco began his eighth spring training with the Marlins this week, and for the first time he's their top starter — by default. Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Anibal Sanchez departed when Miami slashed its budget, leaving Nolasco as the team's most experienced pitcher and highest-paid player.

He'll make $11.5 million in 2013. Because of the Marlins have returned to their tightfisted ways after a brief spending spree, and because Nolasco's contract expires after this season, he might well be traded during the season to a contending team.

That would be fine with Nolasco, who was so upset by the Marlins' downsizing he asked in December to be traded.

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