It was odd enough that the Royals chose washed-up veteran Yuniesky Betancourt over promising prospect Johnny Giavotella for the starting second base job this spring, but now Betancourt has been placed on the disabled list with an ankle injury and Giavotella didn’t even get the call to take his spot.
And it’s not because Giavotella has been struggling at Triple-A, as he’s hitting .301 with an .820 OPS in 25 games after hitting .338 with an .871 OPS in 110 games there last season. He’s also 24 years old, so it’s not as if the Royals want to avoid rushing him to the majors.
Instead they called up Irving Falu, a 28-year-old non-prospect in his fourth season at Triple-A who’s hit just .282 with a .697 OPS in 376 career games at the level. And apparently Chris Getz will take over as the primary second baseman despite being 28 years old with a .631 career OPS.
What good is the Royals’ impressive collection of prospects and young players if they’d rather give jobs to guys like Betancourt, Getz, and Falu?
CC Sabathia‘s contract is set to expire this offseason, but for the long-tenured left-hander, nowhere feels more like home than New York. “I want to see this through,” Sabathia told reporters after a devastating Game 7 loss in the ALCS. “This is where I want to play.” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman spoke warmly of the veteran starter, but would make no public guarantees that he’d return to the team next spring.
Sabathia, 37, just topped off his 17th season in the big leagues and his eighth career postseason run. He went 14-5 in 27 starts and put up a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 148 2/3 innings, good for 1.9 fWAR. He looked solid in the playoffs, too, propelling the team to a much-needed win in Game 5 of the ALDS and returning in the Championship Series with six scoreless innings in Game 3. His season ended on a sour note during Game 7, however. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings against a dynamic Astros’ offense, allowing one run on five hits and three walks and failing to record a single strikeout for the first time in 23 career postseason appearances.
Heading into the 2017 offseason, Sabathia finally arrived at the end of his seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees. While he’s repeatedly expressed a desire to keep pitching, despite rumors that his career might be on the rocks following the diagnosis of a troublesome degenerative knee condition, the decision isn’t his alone to make. Brian Cashman will also be seeking an extension with the Yankees this winter, so it’s difficult to say which impending free agents the club will try to retain — and Sabathia’s name isn’t the only one on that list. If it were up to skipper Joe Girardi, who is awaiting a decision on his own future with the organization, the decision would be a no-brainer. From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for and the great player that he is, the great man that he is,” Girardi said. “The wonderful teammate that he is. How he pulls a team together. He’s as good as I’ve ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you’re on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time.