CC Sabathia Agrees to One-Year Deal with the New York Yankees

CC Sabathia is heading back to the mound…

The 33-year-old Dominican American Major League Baseball pitcher has reached an agreement with the New York Yankees valued at $8 million, according to ESPN.

CC Sabathia

Sabathia, a lefty, has played the past 10 seasons of his 18-season career with the Yankees.

Sabathia went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts last year for a 100-win New York club that lost in the American League Division Series to the Boston Red Sox.

He took a cut in salary from $25 million in 2017 to $10 million in ’18. An ejection in his final start of the regular season cost Sabathia a $500,000 bonus that he would have earned for reaching 155 innings pitched.

Sabathia, who underwent right knee surgery in October, is one of just three returning members of the Yankees’ 2018 rotation, joining Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka.

Starter J.A. Happ is a free agent, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had said the team hopes to re-sign him, as well.

Cashman also is expected to pursue a group of free-agent pitchers that includes left-handers Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel.

New York already this offseason re-signed Brett Gardner, so keeping Sabathia maintains two veteran presences in the clubhouse.

“These are known commodities,” Cashman said. “We know exactly who they are in that clubhouse, who they are dealing with our press and our fans, and obviously — most importantly — competing on the field of play.”

Pineda Named Starting Pitcher for the New York Yankees

Michael Pineda will definitely be playing ball this season…

After not throwing a pitch in Major League Baseball the last two seasons, the 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher has won the New York Yankees‘ fifth starter job.

Michael Pineda

The team’s manager Joe Girardi made it official on Tuesday, saying Pineda has pitched well enough this spring to be named to the starting rotation, completing a two-year journey back from serious shoulder surgery and salvaging a trade that for a time looked as if it would be a disaster for the Yankees.

“He threw extremely well,” Girardi said. “It was what we wanted to see from him. He improved each outing. At times he was dominant. We liked what we saw.”

In four appearances (three starts) this spring, Pineda went 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA. He didn’t allow an earned run until this past Sunday after throwing 13 scoreless innings, and struck out 16 batters in 15 innings, walking just one.

“I’m so excited,” Pineda said. “I’ve been working so hard for the last two years to be in New York, to help my team, and today they make me happy. Today is a big day for me. I’m putting everything in the past. I want to continue my career and I want to be here for a long time.”

Despite the loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, Pineda’s performance convinced the Yankees to add him as the fifth starter in their rotation, behind CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova.

Pineda will make his first regular-season start on Saturday, April 5 against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Hernández Agrees to Lucrative Seven-Year Extenstion with the Mariners

Félix Hernández is officially the highest-paid pitcher in Major League history.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan right-handed starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners has signed a seven-year contract extension with the team.

Felix Hernandez

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik announced the deal with Hernández at the news conference at Safeco Field. A source confirmed to MLB.com that the basic agreement is for seven years and $175 million, with some new language written in that would protect the Mariners if Hernandez misses a season with elbow problems.

Hernández has two years and $40.5 million remaining on his existing contract, but the final two years will reportedly be replaced by the new deal, which will now extend through 2019.

“I think it’s a great thing for the Seattle Mariners and it’s a great thing for Felix Hernandez. We’re looking forward to this guy being here for a long time, obviously,” said Zduriencik.

CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees currently has the largest overall contract for a pitcher, with a seven-year, $161 million deal he signed before the 2010 season. Zack Greinke signed the highest average-annual-value deal at $24.5 million with his six-year, $147 million contract in December with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hernandez has been with the Mariners his entire Major League career and won the American League Cy Young Award in 2010. He pitched a perfect game last season while going 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA in 33 starts.

The three-time All-Star has pitched 200 or more innings in each of the past five seasons and has a career record of 98-76 with a 3.22 ERA.

Rays Star Peña Hits Game-Winning RBI Against Yankees

Earlier this year, the Tampa Bay Rays brought Carlos Peña back to the team with a lucrative one-year contract… Well, it looks like it was money well spent!

In the team’s season-opening game against the New York Yankees, the 33-year-old Dominican baseball star not only hit a grand slam against Yankees ace CC Sabathia, but he hit a game-winning RBI against closer Mariano Rivera.

Carlos Pena

“Your heart starts racing in that moment and you try to control yourself as much as possible,” Peña said. “I tried to slow myself down and breathe and take it one pitch at a time, as easy as you can possibly make it. Instead of building the situation up you try to bring it down.”

Peña’s spectacular hitting lifted the Rays to a thrilling 7-6 victory over the Yankees on Friday. In all, he finished 3 for 5 with five RBIs in his return to the Rays after a year with the Chicago Cubs. All that after a spring in which he hit .107 and struggled so much that manager Joe Maddon initially penciled him into the No. 7 spot in the batting order for the opener before shifting the slugger into the sixth spot.

Peña, who was 0 for 11 lifetime against Rivera, won it by driving a 1-2 pitch off the base of the wall in left-center field for his fifth RBI of the game.

“He’s the greatest closer in the history of the game and we all know that,” Pena said of Rivera. “He has that illusion in his ball. You swing where the ball is at and it’s not there anymore. He has perplexed hitters throughout his career. He’s the best closer in baseball, and that’s for a reason.”

Earlier in the game, Peña brought the sellout crowd of 34,078 to its feet in the bottom of the first inning when he sent a 3-2 pitch into the right-field stands for his eighth career grand slam.