Rockies decline $11 million option on Aaron Cook

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Colorado has declined Aaron Cook’s $11 million option for next season, choosing a $500,000 buyout instead after injuries limited the 32-year-old right-hander to 97 ineffective innings.

Cook was a workhorse for the Rockies from 2006-2008, but has thrown just 158, 128, and 97 innings during the past three seasons while posting a 4.94 ERA.

General manager Dan O’Dowd told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that “the door is open” for Cook to re-sign with the Rockies for a lesser salary, but presumably he’ll shop around for a multi-year deal or at least some decent guaranteed money first.

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.