The Pirates are close to acquiring catcher Chris Stewart from the Yankees


In the future, every Pirates catcher will have played for the Yankees the season before:


Stewart is superfluous now that the Yankees have signed Brian McCann. And he’s pretty bad even if they didn’t sign McCann, having hit .211/.293/.272 in over 300 plate appearances for New York last season. And that’s no aberration. It’s pretty much his career line in seven seasons in the majors.

Organizational depth for Pittsburgh, roster space for the Yankees and likely nothing of value going back to Gotham in exchange.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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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.