Pablo Sandoval is shrinking!

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At the beginning of last week, Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle published a story about Pablo Sandoval and his offseason workout program.  The third baseman, of course, was claiming to be in “the best shape of his life” and ready to turn his career around after a disappointing 2010 campaign.

We were skeptical.  Sandoval tried a similar diet and workout plan last winter and he wound up actually putting on more weight in the end.

But take a look at this picture (to the right, or here) that “Kung Fu Panda” is using on his Twitter profile.  Schulman said that Sandoval was down 17 pounds.  Another reporter claimed he had dropped 22 pounds.  We’re thinking it might be like 30 pounds, at least.  He looks like half of his former self.

Sandoval exploded onto the major league scene in 2009 with a stellar .330/.387/.556 batting line, 25 homers and 90 RBI.  He got MVP votes.

It all took a tumble last year as he battled conditioning issues, but the 24-year-old appears to be serious about making the correct changes.

Report: Yankees J.A. Happ, closing in on a three-year deal

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UPDATE: Rosenthal is now walking the report back a bit, saying that indications that the Yankees and Happ are close to a deal but that it is not yet done.

10:29 AM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and J.A. Happ have come to terms on a three-year deal. The agreement is pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known.

Happ just turned 36, but he has been effective enough to warrant a three-year commitment. The Yankees know this as well as anyone, having acquired him last year and watched him post a 7-0 record and a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in New York. For the entire season he was 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 193/51 in 177.2 innings between the Yankees and the Blue Jays.

With Happ back in the fold, the Yankees rotation now consists of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, not necessarily in that order. A good group, assuming it stays healthy.