Michael Wuertz is one of the few intriguing pitchers still left unsigned and his lengthy injury history has no doubt scared teams off, but Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that the reliever will hold a tryout next week.
According to Wolfson the Twins are among the teams expected to attend, which makes sense because they could certainly use some bullpen help following Joel Zumaya’s latest season-ending injury and Wuertz is a Minnesota native.
Wuertz was injured and ineffective last season, convincing the A’s to decline their $3.25 million option. However, when healthy he was an extremely effective setup man from 2004-2010, throwing 381 innings with a 3.45 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine frames.
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.