From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi …
The St. Louis Cardinals say they like their starting rotation. But that is not preventing them from pursuing a major upgrade.
The team is exploring trades for left-handers Cole Hamels and David Price and the possibility of signing free-agent right-hander Max Scherzer, according to major-league sources.
St. Louis has five excellent starters in Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, and Carlos Martinez. Young left-hander Marco Gonzales is another rotation option and Jaime Garcia is expected to be recovered from his latest shoulder surgery by the beginning of the 2015 season.
But there are serious question marks surrounding Wainwright, who needed a cleanup procedure on his right elbow in late October, and Wacha, who logged only 107 innings in 2014 due to right shoulder troubles.
Hamels is due $94 million over the next four seasons and carries a $24 million vesting option (or $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout) for 2019. Price is set to become a free agent next offseason.
Scherzer, a native of St. Louis, is thought to be seeking a contract worth close to $200 million.
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.