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.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.