Looking for an update on the negotiations between the Reds and manager Dusty Baker? Here it is.
Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday evening that the sides are “very close” on a two-year extension and that a deal should be finalized before the end of the regular season.
“We’re close,” Baker said. “Very close. We’ve been close for a while.”
Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News reported earlier today that a three-year deal was being discussed, which still may be the case if options are included.
Baker led the Reds to their first playoff appearance and first National League Central title in 15 years this season and is about to reap the reward. That reward being job security.
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.