The Rangers are talking to the Marlins about Josh Johnson


I already vented spleen about the Marlins sale. Some have responded to me saying that I’m overstating this, and it’s not THAT big of a sale.  So it’s probably worth noting that in addition to a starting pitcher, their would-be star third baseman and their starting second baseman, they’re talking about dealing their ace as well. Bob Nightengale reports:

The Marlins also have starter Josh Johnson on the trade block, and the Texas Rangers are one of the teams actively pursuing him, a Marlins executive told USA TODAY Sports, with the Rangers informing the Marlins they would be willing to part with third-base prospect Mike Olt.

The Rangers certainly need the rotation help, and Johnson would provide a boost as long as he stayed healthy.  Olt is 23 years-old, currently tearing up the Texas League. He has a strong arm and a lot of power at third, but is blocked by Adrian Beltre.  With Hanley Ramirez gone from Miami now, he’d be destined to take over third base for the Marlins.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

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.