Making official what was expected, the White Sox have ruled out left-hander Chris Sale for Opening Day due to the avulsion fracture in his right foot.
Executive vice president Kenny Williams told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com that Sale is still at least 10 days from resuming baseball activities and the White Sox start the season against the Royals on April 6.
Sale was the Opening Day starter in 2013 and 2014, and is coming off a dominant season in which he threw 174 innings with a 2.17 ERA and 208/39 K/BB ratio at age 25.
Jeff Samardzija seems like the leading candidate to take the Opening Day assignment in Sale’s place.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.