Red Sox engaged in ongoing discussions with Nick Swisher

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A number of teams, including the Mariners and Rangers, have expressed interest this offseason in free agent outfielder Nick Swisher. But the Boston Red Sox might be the favorite to actually land him.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Sox “have had ongoing negotiations with Swisher and his agents” over the past few weeks. They’re viewing him as a potential upgrade over Cody Ross, with whom they’ve failed to work out a contract extension despite negotiations that date back to mid-July.

Swisher, 32, batted .272/.364/.473 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI in 148 games this past season for the Yankees.

Ross, 31, hit .267/.326/.481 with 22 homers and 81 RBI in 130 games for Boston.

Swisher would probably start in right field for the Red Sox. He could also provide depth at first base.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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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.