Let’s check in on a few notes from the American League:
- Red Sox ace Chris Sale finished the 2019 season on the injured list with inflammation in his throwing elbow. However, there’s “no doubt” he’ll be ready for spring training, he told reporters (including Adam Fisher of the Fort Myers News-Press). Sale was cleared to begin throwing last week, and he offered a few details on his offseason program yesterday. Currently, Sale is throwing three times a week, he said, and he plans to up his workload soon before moving to long-toss and, eventually, mound work. Sale’s peripherals were dominant again last season, but his 147.1 innings of 4.40 ERA ball no doubt made for some disappointing results. The Sox will be hoping for more typical bottom line numbers from the star southpaw in 2020.
- The Mariners don’t plan on making any noteworthy additions on the position player side in free agency, GM Jerry Dipoto indicated to reporters (including Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times). “We have very likely the position player club you are looking at right now, barring the potential for a trade, which is always possible,” Dipoto said. While Dipoto didn’t mention any specific trade possibilities, Divish notes the organization would like to find a taker for Dee Gordon to open second base up full-time for Shed Long. Doing so, though, would be a difficult task, with Gordon due $13.8MM in 2020 and coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons.
- Nevertheless, the Mariners could be in line for some modest upgrades on the pitching staff, Dipoto suggested to Divish in the same piece. “We do have some ongoing conversations with potential free-agent additions,” Dipoto said, presumably referring to pitching upgrades given his declaration that the position player grouping was largely set. Dipoto added that any acquisitions are likely to be flyers on bounceback players, in a similar vein to the club’s earlier signings of Carl Edwards, Jr. and Kendall Graveman. Speculatively speaking, players like Michael Wacha, Blake Treinen, or Pedro Strop all have strong track records but are coming off disappointing 2019 seasons. All three figure to command a higher guarantee than was necessary to bring in Edwards ($950K) or Graveman ($2MM), though.