The Yankees expect CC Sabathia is going to remain with the Yankees beyond 2011

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CC Sabathia has an opt-out clause he can exercise after this season, but Buster Olney is talking to Yankees people, and they say that they expect Sabathia to say in New York beyond 2011.

Which doesn’t mean that Sabathia won’t opt-out.  Indeed, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees and they want to keep him, he’d be crazy not to opt-out in order to get some extra bucks.  Or to at least threaten it in the hopes of getting an extension. Though it should be remembered that the Yankees, as a rule, don’t negotiate during the season or before players actually become free agents. Olney’s followup story makes is clear that the Yankees will not be talking to Sabathia in-season.

But let’s be real: the Yankees have zero leverage. They need Sabathia. There is nothing approaching a replacement for him on the free agent market this winter.  Barring injury, he’s in the driver’s seat. And even if he got injured he still might be, assuming it wasn’t anything super serious.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.