Astros-Red Sox exhibition game canceled

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The Astros and Red Sox were scheduled to play two exhibition games in Houston just before opening day.  Actually, one of them was going to be on Opening Day. I missed this from a few days ago, but that latter one has been cancelled because the league apparently doesn’t like teams playing games that don’t count on days that really do. The March 30th game will still happen. The March 31st game won’t.

Given that both the Red Sox and Astros have games scheduled out of town on April 1st — the Sox in Dallas the Astros in Philadelphia — you have to think that everyone except the Minute Maid Park vendors are happy with this decision.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.