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CC Sabathia gets $500,000 bonus after all

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Back in late September, Yankees starter CC Sabathia was thought to have cost himself a $500,000 bonus by intentionally throwing a pitch at Rays catcher Jesús Sucre. Sabathia was ejected from the game in the sixth inning. The lefty was apparently sticking up for teammate Austin Romine, who had been thrown at earlier in the game.

Sabathia, who has made over $252 million over the course of his 18-year career, had no qualms about the sacrifice and ultimately served a five-game suspension. That start against the Rays was his last of the season. He officially finished with 153 innings, two innings shy of the 155-inning threshold to earn his $500,000 bonus.

The Yankees decided to give Sabathia his bonus anyway, Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reports. Sabathia’s agent, Kyle Thousand of Roc Nation Sports, said, “We thought it was a very nice gesture by the Yankees. CC was very appreciative and is really excited to come back next year and, hopefully, win a championship.”

Neither the Yankees nor Sabathia chose to publicize the matter. GM Brian Cashman said, “It was something that we did very private and weren’t looking to publicize, and I’ll just leave it at that.”

The Yankees and Sabathia, now 38 years old, agreed in November to a one-year, $8 million contract for the 2019 season. Sabathia has pitched for the Yankees since 2009, going 129-80 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1,593/537 K/BB ratio in 1,810 2/3 innings.

Cubs have considered trading Ben Zobrist

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The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports that the Cubs have considered trading super-utilityman Ben Zobrist in order to free up payroll space, which would allow the club to address other areas of the roster.

Zobrist, 37, is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $12 million in 2019. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Cubs project to have an Opening Day payroll of about $204.5 million, just a hair below the luxury tax threshold of $206 million. The Cubs have notably been absent from the free agent marketplace, particularly involving Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, due to luxury tax concerns.

Last season, Zobrist hit .305/.378/.440 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 520 plate appearances. He played all over the field, logging 100-plus innings in both outfield corners and second base while also spending a handful of games at first base. With Addison Russell serving a 40-game suspension to open the 2019 season, Javier Báez will handle shortstop and Zobrist figures to be the starting second baseman.