Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun first reported this back on the 21st, but Ken Rosenthal said again last night that the Orioles are continuing to target Derrek Lee. They’re apparently not high on the idea of getting a DH and moving Luke Scott to first base, and with the rumored Adam LaRoche offer seemingly going nowhere, Lee is the best bet.
Rosenthal says, however, that Lee would prefer to be on the west coast with a contender. Which is strange considering he turned down an $8 million offer from the Padres before they signed Brad Hawpe. Last I checked the Padres were closer to contention than any of the teams still in the market for a first baseman, and $8 million ain’t hay.
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.