Last week the A’s traded Conor Jackson to the Red Sox for Triple-A reliever Jason Rice and now five days later they lost Rice on waivers to the Indians for nothing.
He’s hardly an impact prospect, but it still seems odd to trade for someone and then immediately waive them. Obviously the A’s were hoping Rice would clear waivers, which would have allowed them to keep him in the organization while removing him from the 40-man roster, but the Indians ruined those plans.
Rice threw 85 innings with a 3.69 ERA and 89 strikeouts at Pawtucket, but the former 11th-round pick also walked 42 batters. All of which is a long way of saying that the A’s basically just gave Conor Jackson to the Red Sox for nothing. And considering his .634 OPS during the past three seasons that seems like the right price.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.