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Mariners ink Cole Gillespie to minor league deal

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Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Mariners have signed free agent outfielder Cole Gillespie to a minor league contract. It presumably comes with an invitation to spring training.

Gillespie has a promising .290/.386/.475 career batting line at Triple-A, but it’s just .225/.293/.337 at the major level and the 29-year-old is unlikely to crack Seattle’s Opening Day roster next spring.

Gillespie was a third-round pick of the Brewers in 2006. He has played for the Diamondbacks, Giants, and he spent the 2013 season with the Cubs.

CC Sabathia checking into alcohol rehab

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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, who was involved in a relatively minor incident outside a nightclub back in August, 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

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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.