The Cubs seem totally focused on trading Ryan Dempster — why wouldn’t they be? — and today Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says that two teams — the Dodgers and the Yankees — are showing interest.
We knew about the Dodgers’ interest. The Yankees is new, though obviously not surprising. Starting pitching depth seems like a big need for them, and Dempster — who has a 2.31 ERA and a 63/20 K/BB ratio in 74 innings — is clearly the best one available on the market.
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.