Kansas City Royals v Atlanta Braves

Braves may trade Kenshin Kawakami back to Japan

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It looks like the Braves may cut ties this winter with one of their 2010 season-opening starters.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, a Japanese club has expressed interest in acquiring right-hander Kenshin Kawakami from Atlanta and may be willing to eat around $3 million of the $6.67 million that remaining on his contract.

If those numbers are correct, Atlanta should pull the trigger now.

Kawakami, 35, turned in a disappointing 5.15 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 59/32 K/BB ratio over 87.1 innings this past season, working as both a starter and reliever, and a major improvement doesn’t seem likely in 2011.  Win-loss records don’t mean a whole lot, but it should also be noted that he finished 1-10.

Opening an extra $3 million before the start of the hot stove season would go a long way toward helping Atlanta improve other areas of the ballclub.

CC Sabathia checking into alcohol rehab

sabathia getty
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This is totally unexpected and definitely unfortunate: The New York Yankees just released a statement from CC Sabathia saying that he is checking himself into alcohol rehabilitation center.

There will no doubt be additional details and reporting going forward, but this is all we have at the moment.

Sabathia has battled injuries and ineffectiveness for the past three seasons but has, in his last few starts, shown himself to be effective, even if he’s not to the level he once was. And, should the Yankees advance past the Wild Card game, one would have assumed that the Yankees would’ve been counting on him for the playoff rotation.

Now, however, that seems both doubtful and completely superfluous. Here’s hoping Sabathia deals with whatever problems he’s facing and comes out healthy on the other end.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.