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CC Sabathia to announce retirement following 2019 season

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that Yankees starter CC Sabathia is holding a press conference on Saturday at Steinbrenner Field in Florida. The veteran lefty will officially announce he will retire following the 2019 season.

Sabathia, 38, re-signed with the Yankees on a one-year, $8 million contract in November. He’s coming off of a solid 2018 campaign in which he posted a 3.65 ERA with 140 strikeouts and 51 walks across 153 innings. Sabathia, in fact, has been solid over the last three years, posting a sub-4.00 ERA each year.

The Yankees made some additions to the rotation, bringing J.A. Happ back as a free agent and acquiring James Paxton from the Mariners. Those two and Sabathia will be joined by Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. Barring injury, there aren’t any rotation spots available as spring training opens.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”