Astros, first round pick Brady Aiken agree to $6.5 million bonus


The Astros and first round pick Brady Aiken have agreed to a $6.5 million bonus, Jim Callis of reports. Aiken, a left-handed pitcher taken first overall out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, ties Jameson Taillon — selected by the Pirates in the first round, second overall, in the 2010 draft — for the largest bonus given to a high school pitcher.

Aiken represented the Astros’ third consecutive first overall pick. They selected shortstop Carlos Correa first overall in 2012 and pitcher Mark Appel last year.

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.