Report: Mariners have strong interest in Harden

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A day after reporting that the Red Sox were seriously eyeing him, is saying that the Mariners are showing strong interest in free agent Rich Harden.
As an extreme flyball pitch, Harden would fit nicely in Safeco Field. Mariners hitters will likely strongly favor his signing, considering that he’s 5-2 with a 1.90 ERA against Seattle in his career. That’s his best ERA against any team that he’s faced at least five times. speculates that Harden, a native of British Columbia, might like to pitch in Seattle. However, it’s worth noting that he was originally drafted by Seattle in 1999, yet he passed on signing with the team and went to junior college in Arizona instead. There’s been nothing from him so far to indicate he’d prefer one region to another.

Chris Sale exits game with hip contusion

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made a hasty exit from his final Grapefruit League outing on Saturday after sustaining a left hip contusion. He was struck on the leg with a line drive from the Astros’ J.D. Davis in the first inning and immediately collapsed on the mound. He was able to walk off the field without a noticeable limp, however, and later told reporters that the ball struck a nerve and temporarily stunned his leg. As a precautionary move, the Red Sox pulled him after the incident and will have the left-hander undergo X-rays to rule out any further injury to his hip.

This was expected to be Sale’s last start of spring training. Prior to Saturday’s matinee against the Astros, the 28-year-old southpaw made three starts in camp, allowing five runs, one home run, three walks and striking out 18 batters in 14 innings. He’s still on track to start the season for the Red Sox during their road opener against the Rays next Thursday.