Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that CC Sabathia lost 30 pounds during the offseason, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman isn’t buying it.
Here’s what Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com after seeing Sabathia in person recently:
I don’t believe it. I saw him at the B.A.T. dinner and he didn’t look like he lost 30 pounds to me. Maybe half that amount. We haven’t weighed him so I don’t now where that number comes from. He obviously has worked very hard to rehab his knee and he’s lost some weight, but he’s still around 300 pounds. Clearly, he’s a tremendous athlete and he can handle it , but it has to be managed so it doesn’t become a problem. I just think 30 pounds would have been a lot more noticeable.
As a longtime fatso who has shed 30-plus pounds on numerous occasions over the years, I can tell you from experience that it’s almost impossible to eyeball whether someone as big as Sabathia has lost 15 pounds or 30 pounds (or, for that matter, gained 15 pounds or 30 pounds). Once you get to be that size–and my guess is Sabathia is well over his listed weight of 307 pounds–the random weight fluctuations are pretty huge and you can easily drop 20-30 pounds in a very limited amount of time.
In other words, Cashman probably can’t accurately gauge Sabathia’s weight just by looking at him wearing a suit at a charity event and someone as big as Sabathia losing 30 pounds in an offseason really isn’t such an impressive feat anyway. I could easily lose 30 pounds by the end of the month. You know, if I wasn’t so lazy and didn’t like Chinese food so much.
Also of note is that this continues Cashman’s offseason-long pattern of saying more and more outspoken things in the media for seemingly no good reason. It started with the Derek Jeter negotiations and extended to telling everyone that he was forced to sign Rafael Soriano for $35 million, and now he’s basically saying “eh, Sabathia still looks like a fatso” following reports that the Yankees’ ace tried to get into better shape.
I’m not complaining, of course, because an outspoken Cashman is a whole lot of fun for guys like me. I’m just not sure what he and the Yankees stand to gain from it. Or maybe I’m just so used to the general manager of my beloved Twins refusing to say anything of interest through the media, ever, that it only seems weird for Cashman to be so open. Or maybe I’m just ornery because I haven’t eaten in a while.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.
Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.
The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.
The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.
Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.
Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.
The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.
While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.