The Braves have a strong interest in Chris Sale

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The White Sox may or may not have a fire sale, but if they do, the biggest item that will go out the door is ace starter Chris Sale. If they put him on the block there will be no shortage of clubs interested in him. Jon Heyman says, however, that one club is trying to get to the front of the line.

Heyman says the Braves are showing a “strong” interest in Sale. Which, while they are coming off of a 93-loss season, have a very strong farm system from which to deal and which have already struck quickly this offseason, adding Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey to their starting rotation.

It will take a hefty, hefty package of prospects to land Sale, of course, as he is not only one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he comes cheap too: he is owed just $38 million over the next three seasons.

Mets claim Sam Coonrod off waivers from Phillies

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NEW YORK — The active New York Mets added another newcomer to their bullpen mix when they claimed reliever Sam Coonrod off waivers from the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies.

Coonrod had a 7.82 ERA in 12 appearances covering 12 2/3 innings last year for the National League champions. The right-hander is 7-5 with a 5.27 ERA and five saves in 105 games over four major league seasons with San Francisco and Philadelphia. He has struck out 95 and walked 44 in 97 1/3 innings.

The 30-year-old Coonrod was designated for assignment by the Phillies last week when they signed free agent infielder Josh Harrison.

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Khalil Lee was designated for assignment by the Mets.