CC Sabathia has surgery to remove bone spur from elbow

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CC Sabathia underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow, which qualifies as good–or at least not bad–news amid worries that the Yankees ace might have a more serious injury.

Barring a setback he’ll have plenty of time to get healthy for spring training and pitchers regularly have no issues returning from bone spur removals.

Sabathia spent time on the disabled list with elbow soreness in August and said his elbow “felt good enough to pitch” after struggling in his final playoff start against the Tigers, leading general manager Brian Cashman to insist that he have Dr. James Andrews take a look.

Sabathia is under contract for $99 million over the next four seasons and topped 200 innings this year for the sixth straight season.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.