Greg Holland taking over as Royals’ closer

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The Royals dealt closer Jonathan Broxton to the Reds about 30 minutes before this afternoon’s trade deadline. And now it’s time for a fresh face to begin handling save opportunities in Kansas City.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star spoke Tuesday with Royals manager Ned Yost, who named Greg Holland the club’s next ninth-inning man.

Holland hasn’t recorded a save this season, but the 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.19 career ERA and has fanned 153 batters in 118 1/3 MLB innings. He possesses a dominant arsenal, and is capable of shining down the stretch.

The Royals’ return for Broxton was lefty Donnie Joseph, who has a 1.72 ERA and 68/17 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings this season in the minors, and J.C. Sulbaran, a right-hander whose numbers are less inspiring.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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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.