In making room for starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s return from the disabled list the Brewers designated backup catcher George Kottaras for assignment.
That means Milwaukee has decided to stick with Martin Maldonado as Lucroy’s new backup, but it’s unlikely that they’d be willing to simply let Kottaras go for nothing via waivers. Instead, expect the Brewers to trade him before Tuesday’s deadline, in which case designating him for assignment simply removes Kottaras from the 40-man roster in the meantime.
Officially they have 10 days to trade, waive, or release Kottaras, but since the trade deadline is only five days away the DFA likely won’t impact anything.
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.