Chris Sale

Chris Sale wants to throw 200 innings this season

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Chris Sale logged 71 innings out of the White Sox bullpen in 2011 and hasn’t started a game since May of 2010 at Florida Gulf Coast University, but that hasn’t stopped him from setting the bar pretty high for his first season in the starting rotation.

According to Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com, Sale said yesterday that he wants to pitch 200 innings this season.

“It’s not a matter of whether I think I can. I want to,” said Sale. “That’s something that I want to push for because that’s what this team needs. I don’t really like to set goals or live up to expectations and stuff because I tried doing that last year and I failed miserably.”

It’s nice to have goals and all, but the chances of this actually happening are just about zero.

Though the White Sox don’t have a firm innings limit in mind for the 22-year-old left-hander, or at least one they are willing to disclose publicly, pitching coach Don Cooper told the Associated Press yesterday that they plan to monitor how many innings he’ll throw and “evaluate things as we’re going.” There’s no doubt that Sale has electric stuff, but one of the big unknowns is how his rail-thin frame will hold up to the rigors of pitching every fifth day in the majors.

Sale, who was selected 14th overall by Chicago in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, has a 2.58 ERA and 111/37 K/BB ratio over his first 94 1/3 major league innings.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.