Mark Ellis may renegotiate contract to remain in Oakland


Bob Geren removed Mark Ellis in the seventh inning yesterday so he could get a standing ovation from the Oakland crowd in the A’s final home game of the year, which suggests the manager doesn’t expect him back in 2011.
Oakland has a $6 million option or $500,000 buyout on Ellis, who’s 33 years old and hitting his usual .281/.352/.363 in 117 games this season. That might be slightly more than he’s worth on the open market, but as a good defender with solid on-base skills Ellis would seemingly be an ideal one-year stopgap for teams hoping to contend in 2011.
However, it sounds like Ellis would like to be back in Oakland for a 10th season even if the A’s choose the $500,000 buyout, with Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News reporting that “he expects to have discussions with management next week.”

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

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.