Jayson Werth ain’t comin’ back to Philly


I don’t think anyone was truly holding out hope that Jayson Werth would return to the Phillies, but if there was a shred of it, Jayson Stark shoots it down like Paul Newman shot diseased cattle in “Hud”:

Here’s one Phillies source on the odds of his team finding a way to keep Jayson Werth: “No chance. None. Zero.” In the end, it might not even be the annual dollars that will force the Phillies to move on. It’s their unwillingness to go beyond three or four years for a player who will turn 32 next May.

So that’s that.  But fear not, Phillies fans, your team is on the hunt for a free agent:

The free agent the Phillies have been most aggressive about trying to re-sign isn’t Werth. It’s right-hander Jose Contreras, who struck out 57 in 56 2/3 innings in his first full season in the bullpen. Amaro wouldn’t confirm that, but did say: “We’ve made contact with 40 free agents, predominantly bullpen guys.” He also said: “Left-handed relief is a priority for us.”

Every Philly fan I know is concerned about the outfield and/or a right-handed bat. But hey, that left handed middle relief may look good soon!

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.