Report: The Royals have had internal discussions about Ryan Howard

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It’s no secret that the Phillies would like to turn the page on Ryan Howard, but finding a match in a trade has understandably been a challenge. However, Bob Nightengale of USA Today hears that Howard’s name has surfaced in internal discussions with the defending American League Champions. That’s right, he’s on the radar with the Royals.

The Royals aren’t about to rip up their payroll, and David Glass suddenly isn’t about to go all Steinbrenner on us, but if the Phillies are willing to eat most of the contract, the Royals have had internal discussions about acquiring him.

They believe he just might be the perfect fit to replace Billy Butler as their everyday DH, and considering they didn’t have a single player hit 20 homers or drive in 75 runs last year, he may be the power threat the Royals need to return to the World Series.

It’s hard to believe that Howard and the phrase “perfect fit” could be used in the same sentence at this point, but here we are. Even if the Phillies cover the majority of his remaining contract ($60 million if you include his $10 million club option for 2017), Howard’s upside is limited. No longer suited for the daily rigors of playing first base, the 34-year-old is a designated hitter on the downside of his career. While Howard had 23 home runs and 95 RBI this past season, he batted just .223 and his .690 OPS was 119th among 146 qualified batters in MLB. He has an OPS+ of 98 over the past three seasons.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.