Philadelphia has declined 2013 team options on bench bat Ty Wigginton and reliever Jose Contreras, buying out each player for $500,000 instead.
Wigginton’s option was for $4 million, but he hasn’t cracked a .750 OPS since 2008 and at age 35 can no longer really even fake it defensively at third base or second base.
Contreras’ option was for $2.5 million, but he had a second straight season wrecked by a major elbow injury and may never pitch again.
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.