Saito garners interest from eight teams

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Thumbnail image for takashi saito.jpgEight teams, including the White Sox, Cubs, Braves and Mets, have interest in free agent Takashi Saito, according to a Sponichi report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.

Saito, who turns 40 in February,
posted a 2.42 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 52/25 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings
with the Red Sox in 2009. He signed an incentive-laden contract last
January coming back from a torn elbow ligament (without undergoing
surgery), but the Red Sox declined his $6 million option by releasing
him last month.

While he’s still a fine reliever,
capable of eighth or ninth-inning duties, Saito’s peripherals have been
headed in the wrong direction since his debut in 2006:

2006: 12.9 K/9, 2.64 BB/9, 0.34 HR/9

2007: 10.91 K/9, 1.82 BB/9, 0.70 HR/9

2008: 11.49 K/9, 3.06 BB/9, 0.19 HR/9

2009: 8.41 K/9, 4.04 BB/9, 0.97 HR/9

There’s no shortage of younger late-inning
relievers available this winter, so while the early interest is strong, the veteran right-hander is wading
into some uncertain waters.

ALDS, Game 1: Rangers vs. Blue Jays lineups

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price works against the Baltimore Orioles during first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:

CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos

SP Yovani Gallardo

With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.

LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar

SP David Price

After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.