Astros choose Scott Feldman as Opening Day starter

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Houston has named Scott Feldman as its Opening Day starter after signing the veteran right-hander to a three-year, $30 million contract as a free agent this offseason.

Feldman is 31 years old with a 4.62 career ERA and it would be easy to make some jokes about him being the Astros’ choice, but whatever. They’re really bad now and in the relatively near future they’ll probably cease being really bad and, within a few years, there’s a pretty reasonable chance that they’ll be very good.

And in the meantime they have a guy like Feldman around to eat some innings and, for this season at least, take the mound in Game 1. Last season he threw 182 innings with a 3.86 ERA in 30 starts for the Cubs and Orioles, and now Feldman is returning to Texas after playing the first eight seasons of his career for the Rangers.

Announcement: HardballTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Opening Day’s games (March 31). It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 1:05pm ET on Opening Day. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.