While most of us assume that the Yankees are all about the pitching at the trade deadline, Jon Heyman tells us that isn’t so:
They’ve talked to the Phillies about Shane Victorino and the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton, but Upton is a major long shot for them and right now they see the price tag as too high on either. Victorino may be slightly more realistic eventually, though.
Heyman says uncertainty about Brett Gardner is driving the desire for Victorino. It’s possible that a desire to beat the Mets out for having the most famous Hawaiian baseball player in New York history is at play too.
Curse you, Sid Fernandez! Curse you!
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.