Report: CC Sabathia set to opt out of contract

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As widely anticipated, CC Sabathia is planning to opt out of the remaining four years of his contract prior to Monday night’s deadline, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports.

The Associated Press says that the Yankees have made Sabathia a new offer in an attempt to get him to forgo opting out. Sabathia has $92 million left on the seven-year, $161 million contract he signed with the Yankees after the 2008 season.

Heyman states that the Yankees remain the favorites to sign Sabathia, but that the 31-year-old left-hander does plan to explore his options. Heyman lists the Red Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Blue Jays and Rangers as candidates to put in bids.

Sabathia could be in line something like $150 million over six years as part of a new contract. That would give him a $25 million annual salary, compared to the $23 million he’d be giving up by opting out.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.