Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says he was never close to trading outfielder Oscar Taveras


Oscar Taveras has been mentioned as a possible centerpiece in trade talks this week for top-tier starting pitchers like David Price and Jon Lester, but if Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak is to be believed that was all speculation from the outside.

This excerpt comes from Bernie Miklasz’s latest column on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website …

Mozeliak told me he was never close to trading Taveras and was amused by the speculation that had him moving Taveras.

The Cardinals got Justin Masterson from the Indians on Wednesday afternoon for Double-A outfielder James Ramsey and might be done dealing with a little under 24 hours to go before Thursday’s deadline.

Taveras has struggled in his first taste of the majors, but the 21-year-old Dominican was a .320/.376/.516 hitter in 436 minor league games and hasn’t exactly been used properly by manager Mike Matheny.

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.