They haven’t done much in free agency, but the Mariners have spent $140,000 to sign 17-year-old outfielder Luis Liberato out of the Dominican Republic.
Ben Badler of Baseball America describes the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Liberato as having “a mature approach to hitting from the left side with gap power and advanced baseball instincts for his age.” For now he’s a center fielder, but Badler writes that he could wind up in a corner spot eventually.
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.