As of last week Brian Wilson was said to be in “serious” talks with Detroit, but now that the Tigers are on the verge of signing Joe Nathan as their new closer Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that Wilson is nearing a return to the Dodgers.
Wilson was fantastic down the stretch as a setup man for the Dodgers, throwing 20 innings with a 0.45 ERA and 21/6 K/BB ratio combined in the regular season and playoffs. And after missing nearly all of 2012 following Tommy John elbow surgery he averaged 93.2 miles per hour with his fastball.
Prior to the surgery Wilson put together a four-year run as the Giants’ closer in which he saved 163 games with a 3.00 ERA and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
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.