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Dodgers, Royals, White Sox make a three-team trade

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The hot stove was finally turned on a few days after the new year — we’re now cooking on low heat this Thursday night. The Dodgers will get Royals reliever Scott Alexander and White Sox minor league infielder Jake Peter, the Royals will receive Dodgers prospect Trevor Oaks and minor league infielder Erick Mejia, and the White Sox will receive Dodgers reliever Luis Avilan, Royals reliever Joakim Soria, and $3 million ($2 million from the Dodgers, $1 million from the Royals). The trade has been announced by all three teams. Here are links to the Dodgers’ tweets.

Alexander, 28, is under team control through 2022 and won’t become eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 season. The lefty has a career 2.78 ERA with a 78/38 K/BB ratio in 94 innings across three seasons in the majors. Alexander is a ground ball machine, having induced them at a 72.9 percent rate, which is the second-highest rate since the start of the 2015 season behind Zach Britton (77.7%).

Peter, 24, was selected by the White Sox in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. This past season, with Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, he hit .279/.344/.417 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 516 plate appearances. Peter has spent most of his minor league career at second base but has also played third base, shortstop, and both outfield corners.

Oaks, 24, was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. MLB Pipeline rated him as the No. 14 overall prospect in the Dodgers’ system. The right-hander spent most of his 2017 season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, putting up a 3.64 ERA with a 72/18 K/BB ratio in 84 innings.

Mejia, 23, was signed by the Mariners as an international free agent in June 2012, then sent to the Dodgers in the Joe Wieland trade in January 2016.  He spent most of his 2017 campaign with Double-A Tulsa, batting .289/.357/.413 with 25 stolen bases and 61 runs scored in 403 plate appearances. Mejia has spent most of his time at shortstop, but has also logged time at second base and third base.

Avilan, 28, is eligible for arbitration in his third of four years. This past season, the lefty posted a 2.93 ERA with a 52/22 K/BB ratio in 46 innings.

Soria, 33, pitched 56 innings for the Royals last year with a 3.70 ERA and a 64/20 K/BB ratio. He is owed $9 million for the 2018 season and has a mutual option for 2019 worth $10 million with a $1 million buyout.

What does this mean for the teams involved? The Dodgers acquire a solid lefty reliever to replace Tony Watson, who became a free agent, and remain able to stay under the $197 million luxury tax threshold. The Royals clear Soria’s salary, which allows them to potentially bring back Eric Hosmer (or sign someone else). The White Sox got a pair of solid relievers without breaking the bank.

CC Sabathia hopes to play one more year

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Back in May, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said he’d retire if the Yankees won the World Series. That still may be the plan, but he recently told MLB.com that he’s going to try to pitch in 2019, health willing:

“I’m start to start. I go out one start and feel like I can pitch five more years. I go out another start and I’m done. But if I can stay healthy — if my knee holds up — hopefully I’ll play one more.”

Sabathia is enjoying a nice late-career renaissance, having transformed himself from the dominant lefty he used to be to a crafty one over the past several seasons. Sabathia will turn 38 on Saturday, but he’s having another solid season. He has a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 18 starts.

Will a World Series decide whether he hangs ’em up? Will his knee? Guess we’ll know by November.