CC Sabathia dispatches Indians in return from disabled list

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CC Sabathia never thought his elbow issue was of major concern, and he dealt a blow to anyone who doubted him by holding the Indians to one run in 7 1/3 innings and striking out nine in a victory Friday night.

Sabathia allowed just four hits in improving to 13-3 on the season. An Asdrubal Cabrera home run to center was the only damage.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bombers.

The most notable event from the game came when Corey Kluber beaned Derek Jeter in the second inning, knocking the shortstop’s helmet off (video here). Uncharacteristically, Jeter yelled at Kluber after the pitch, but he took his base and remained in the game. He finished with two hits.

Sabathia has won his last six decisions dating back to June 12. He’s now 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA in six career starts against his original organization.

Report: Indians, Padres still talking about starting pitching trade

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.

The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.

Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.

Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.

The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.