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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.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.