Angels interested in Bronson Arroyo, Bartolo Colon

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The Angels acquired third baseman David Freese from the Cardinals last week and inked reliever Joe Smith to a three-year, $15.75 million free agent contract on Saturday. Now Anaheim is zeroing in on its biggest offseason need — starting pitching.

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, the Halos have expressed interest in free agent starters Bronson Arroyo and Bartolo Colon. Arroyo, 36, is said to be seeking a three-year contract. Colon, 40, can probably be had for a one- or two-year deal.

The Angels posted a 4.23 staff ERA in 2013 that ranked 24th in the majors. Only the Blue Jays, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Twins and Astros were worse.

Arroyo registered a 3.79 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 124/34 K/BB ratio in 202 innings with the Reds this past season. Colon had a 2.65 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 117/29 K/BB ratio in 190 1/3 innings with the A’s.

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

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Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.

Stephen Strasburg is the Nationals’ Opening Day starter

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Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the club on Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday. The news is hardly surprising given Max Scherzer’s questionable status this spring, though it had yet to be confirmed by the club.

Strasburg is approaching his eighth run with the club in 2017. He went 15-4 in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 in 147 2/3 innings. This will mark his fourth Opening Day assignment with the Nationals.

Scherzer, the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in both 2015 and 2016, is scheduled to make his season debut sometime during the first week of the season. The right-hander is expected to take things more slowly this spring as he finishes rehabbing a stress fracture in his finger.

The Nationals will open their season against the Marlins on April 3.