No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and with the Braves’ plans quickly becoming inoperative, they may be jumping in to the Ervin Santana uncertainty. Dave O’Brien of the AJC reports:
Initially I didn’t think there was anything to the idea of the Braves pursuing him, but now with Beachy having more issues (he left today’s start against the Phillies after two innings due to biceps tightness), I’m hearing from a person connected to the Royals that the Braves are making a run at the free agent. How serious that is, I don’t know yet.
It’d hard to figure the Braves giving a multi-year deal to a guy who wasn’t on their radar until literally yesterday, but if Santana’s other alleged options fall through, a one-year deal for a contender in a pitcher’s park may not be a bad fallback for him.
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.