Last night Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that J.C. Romero wanted to be let out of his minor-league contract with the Nationals to sign a similar deal with the Yankees and sure enough that’s exactly what happened today.
Washington released Romero and within minutes New York signed him, and according to Olney he’ll be available out of the Yankees’ Triple-A bullpen tonight.
Already this season the Yankees have inked Kevin Millwood and Carlos Silva to minor-league deals after they were released by other teams, so while Romero still looks capable of being a solid left-handed specialist if used properly there’s certainly no guarantee he’ll get past Triple-A.
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.