Ten days after signing Jim Johnson to a minor-league contract the Tigers are ready to call up the veteran reliever.
In fact, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports that the Tigers were going to call him up earlier this week but Johnson actually asked to make one more appearance at Triple-A first.
Johnson got released by the A’s after posting a 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances, but with Oakland on the hook for his entire $10 million salary Detroit viewed him as a reasonable no-risk flier and potential middle reliever.
Johnson, who saved 50-plus games for the Orioles in both 2012 and 2013, threw two scoreless, hitless innings Wednesday at Triple-A.
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.