The Red Sox are interested in Matt Garza


I’m struggling to recall the last time we heard something from Phil Rogers’ Sunday “Whispers” column that was both (a) juicy; and (b) actually happened, but this one at least has (a) covered:  The Red Sox are reportedly interested in Matt Garza. Rogers says that Garza is “high on the list.”

Which makes sense. Garza’s strikeout rate is way up from a year ago.  Blame some crappy defense behind him in Chicago and some bad luck for his record and ERA, but he’s still a fine pitcher who would be an awesome fit for a contender. But of course, the stuff that makes him so awesome — his stuff and, most especially the fact that he’s under team control for two and a half more years — makes it really unlikely that the Cubs would want to trade him.

So maybe he’s high on the Red Sox’ list of targets, but I can’t think of a reason why he’s be anywhere on the Cubs’ radar as trade fodder.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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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.