Cleveland’s veteran housecleaning continues, as the Indians have released Derek Lowe one day after releasing Johnny Damon.
Lowe was designated for assignment last week after posting a 5.52 ERA and more walks (45) than strikeouts (41) in 119 innings and, not surprisingly, no teams wanted anything to do with his contract on waivers.
He’s now free to sign with any team for the minimum salary–or maybe just a minor-league deal–and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Lowe is willing to start or relieve despite not working out of the bullpen since 2001 with the Red Sox.
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.