The Diamondbacks signed Cody Ross to a three-year, $26 million free agent contract on Saturday afternoon and now have to trade an outfielder to free up enough playing time for him. Justin Upton is apparently still on the block, but it could be Jason Kubel who ultimately winds up packing his bags.
CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the White Sox “have talked about” Kubel, who slugged 30 home runs alongside an .833 OPS for Arizona in 2012.
The 30-year-old signed a two-year, $15 million contract last offseason. He’s owed $7.5 million in 2013 and carries a $7.5 million club option for 2014.
If Kubel is indeed dealt, the D’Backs would start Ross in left, Upton in right and Adam Eaton in center.
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.