Last week the Nationals were said to be sticking with their two-year, $25 million offer to Adam LaRoche and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the two sides “are at a stalemate” in negotiations.
LaRoche continues to want a three-year deal–which would be similar to Mike Napoli’s contract with the Red Sox–and the Nationals aren’t budging on two years, no doubt due in part to having Michael Morse as a pretty nice fallback option at first base should LaRoche go elsewhere.
If they do re-sign LaRoche it could lead to Morse being traded, which might suggest the Nationals want to know one way or another soon, but according to Ladson’s source “nothing has changed since the season came to an end.”
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.