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Giants’ Rule 5 pick Julian Fernandez to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Giants minor league reliever Julian Fernandez is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. The club selected Fernandez from the Rockies with their second pick in the Rule 5 Draft this past December and were hoping to advance him through their farm system over the 2018 season. Instead, the 22-year-old landed on the 60-day disabled list after getting diagnosed with a right UCL strain last week.

The young right-hander has already spent five seasons in the minors after signing with the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He last appeared with the Rockies’ Single-A affiliate in 2017 and finished the year with a 3.26 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 58 innings. This appears to be the first major surgery of his professional career to date.

Given that Fernandez will need to remain on the major league disabled list for the foreseeable future, he’ll also accumulate a year of service time and receive a league-minimum $545,000 salary during his lengthy recovery process. Per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, that extra $500,000+ will count against the Giants’ $197 million luxury tax threshold. Were it not for the unique circumstances of the right-hander’s injury, it seems unlikely that the team would have parted with the money at all, even for a triple-digit-tossing Rule 5 pick with an impressive (if inconsistent) track record in the minors.

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.