Astros targeting Soriano or Lindstrom for bullpen

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Houston has an opening at closer after Jose Valverde declined arbitration and an empty setup spot with LaTroy Hawkins is headed to Milwaukee, so the Astros are reportedly pursuing trades for Matt Lindstrom of the Marlins and Rafael Soriano of the Braves.
Soriano surprisingly accepted Atlanta’s arbitration offer and because the Braves have already rebuilt the bullpen with free agents Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito they’re looking to essentially do a sign-and-trade for Soriano.’s Ken Rosenthal pegs Houston and Tampa Bay as the most likely destinations.
Lindstrom is due for a raise via arbitration, so naturally the Marlins have been shopping him all week and an unnamed source told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that they’re “close” to dealing him to the Astros. Lindstrom is coming off a career-worst year, but between 2007 and 2008 he had a 3.11 ERA and 105/47 K/BB ratio in 124 innings and his probable salary of around $2 million is only expensive to the Marlins.

Yankees select Luis Severino for Opening Day

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Luis Severino will finally get his shot at an Opening Day start this year, the Yankees announced Saturday. According to manager Aaron Boone, he’ll lead a rotation comprised of Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery. It’ll be the first time since 2014 that someone other than Tanaka has taken the ball for Opening Day.

Severino, 24, is fresh off of his best career year to date. The right-hander pitched to a 14-6 record in 31 starts with the Yankees in 2017 and earned an All-Star nomination and Cy Young award consideration with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 10.7 SO/9 and 5.7 fWAR in 193 1/3 innings. “We feel like it’s his time for it,” Boone told reporters Saturday. “With what he was able to do last year, we feel like he’s in a really good place now. We just felt like now is the time for him to take on that role and we think he’s ready for it. I’m looking forward to seeing him grow in his role as one of the aces of this staff.”

Prior to Saturday, Severino pitched in just one Grapefruit League game this spring. He fired 3 1/3 innings against the Phillies, allowing three hits and one unearned run and striking out three batters.

The Yankees are scheduled to kick off the season on March 29 against the Blue Jays. Jordan Montgomery will start their home opener against the Rays on April 2.