CC Sabathia showed up to camp weighing 305 pounds

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CC Sabathia bucked spring tradition in which every player shows up to spring training and announces, “I’m in the best shape of my life.” The veteran left-hander came in at a robust 305 pounds, as ESPN’s Wallace Matthews reports.

Sabathia showed up 30 pounds lighter to spring training last year but felt he was “a little too light”. This spring, he’s 10 pounds heavier than normal. It could help stave off his declining fastball velocity, which fell below 89 MPH on average last season before he hit the disabled list with a right knee injury in May. Sabathia underwent knee surgery in July.

Now 34 years old, Sabathia has had a rough two years, owning a 4.87 ERA in 257 innings since the start of the 2013 season. Though Sabathia admitted he’ll likely never completely overcome his degenerative knee condition, he’ll try to be productive in the middle of the Yankees’ starting rotation behind Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.