Masahiro Tanaka had a successful spring debut on Thursday night and the Yankees are hoping for something similar with CC Sabathia. According to Andrew Simon of MLB.com, the veteran southpaw has been cleared to make his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
This will be Sabathia’s first game action since last May 10. The 34-year-old southpaw was limited to just eight games last season due to a right knee injury which eventually required surgery, but he hasn’t had any issues this spring and made it through 29-pitch simulated game against Yankees minor leaguers on Thursday.
While Sabathia showed up to spring training last year noticeably slim at 275 pounds, he reported to camp this year at 305 pounds and believes it will be better for him. He’s dealing with a chronic knee condition and his velocity has been in decline for quite some time, so who knows if he can be anything close to the pitcher we have seen in the past, but the Yankees would probably be happy if he just gets back to eating innings in the middle of their rotation.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.