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CC Sabathia cleared to resume baseball activities

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Last month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia underwent a procedure — angioplasty — in which he had a stent inserted to open a clogged artery. The club announced that the lefty underwent a follow-up stress test on Tuesday and checked out fine. As a result, he has been cleared to begin working out and can resume baseball activities. Sabathia is expected to be ready to participate when spring training begins in February.

Sabathia, 38, inked a one-year, $8 million contract with the Yankees in November. He’s coming off of a solid 2018 campaign in which he finished with a 3.65 ERA and a 140/51 K/BB ratio over 153 innings. It’s the third straight year Sabathia has finished with a sub-4.00 ERA, showing he still has a little something left in the tank in his late 30’s.

Sabathia figures to anchor the back end of the Yankees’ revamped rotation, which also includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, and James Paxton. The Yankees are expected to trade Sonny Gray, who is on the outside looking in as far as the rotation goes.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).