King Felix, Mariners making progress

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Heyman tweets that Felix Hernandez and the Mariners are making progress on a five or six year deal but will “do the 1-year thing first to buy time.” Makes sense. No sense in rushing this thing.

Hernandez made $3.8 million in 2009.  No telling what a one year deal would mean for him money wise, but all accounts of negotiations so far portray it as a constructive thing, with the Mariners and Hernandez’s Alan Nero working together well.  The Mariners want Hernandez, and they’ve made a lot of serious investments in the team’s future this year which should give Hernandez confidence in them.

Note to the San Francisco Giants: watch what the Mariners do with King Felix and do more or less what they do when you get down to business with Tim Lincecum.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.