CC Sabathia
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Yankees activate CC Sabathia from injured list

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The Yankees have activated left-hander CC Sabathia from the 10-day injured list, per a team announcement on Saturday. He’s scheduled to make his first start of the season against the White Sox later this afternoon.

At long last, Sabathia is poised to begin the final season of his multi-decade career in the majors. The 38-year-old southpaw was absent for the team’s first 13 games in 2019 after serving an initial five-game suspension, which he incurred at the tail end of his 2018 campaign when he intentionally struck Rays catcher Jesús Sucre with a pitch to his thigh. He missed additional time on the mound due to his ongoing recovery from a knee surgery and angioplasty, both of which he underwent over the course of the offseason.

While it’s still unclear what kind of results the club can expect from the oft-injured Sabathia in 2019, the veteran pitcher is coming off of a decent run. He worked up to a 9-7 record with a 3.65 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 8.2 SO/9, and 2.4 fWAR across 153 innings in 2018. Whether or not he can replicate those numbers (or improve on them) is another question, but he should help stabilize a rotation that’s currently waiting on Luis Severino to return from a Grade 2 lat strain, with Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, J.A. Happ, and swingman Domingo Germán fleshing out the rest of the group.

In a corresponding move, lefty reliever Stephen Tarpley was optioned to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to clear a spot on the 25-man roster. Tarpley, 26, appeared in just four games for the Yankees this spring, allowing two runs, two walks, and striking out three of 14 batters faced.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.