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MLB Roundup 2/17: CC Sabathia officially announces intent to retire

And two veterans sign minor-league deals

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

CC Sabathia officially announces he’ll retire at year’s end

We learned earlier this week that this was going to happen, but it happened for real on Saturday. On Saturday, one of the best pitchers of his generation announced that 2019 would be his final season. I speak of course of CC Sabathia, who spoke to media members at Yankees camp to make his announcement. This is a big deal for Yankee fans, who have been watching the big lefty for a decade now. It really doesn’t feel like he has been there as long as he has, and looking back at his career even as a Red Sox fan that won’t be what I remember most about him. Instead, I’ll remember the few months he spent with the Brewers in 2008. That post-trade deadline run was among the best I’ve ever seen from any pitcher and he single-handedly dragged that team into the postseason. There is some debate after this announcement about whether or not Sabathia is a Hall of Famer. I’m not big on these debates, particularly six years before a player would be eligible, but there shouldn’t be an argument here. Sabathia is a Hall of Famer 100 percent.

A pair of veterans sign minor-league deals

Whispers have been growing louder about Bryce Harper and a certain NL East team, but while we continue to wait for news on one of the stars we have more veterans signing minor-league deals. One was an outfielder who goes to a team that has been part of the Harper rumors. That would be Cameron Maybin, who signed a minor-league pact with the Giants. The real impact here is that this likely means San Francisco thinks they are out on Harper. Not that Maybin would be a guy to block the star outfielder, of course, but that he’d probably want some assurances Harper wouldn’t enter the picture before signing a minor-league deal there. As for Maybin himself he’s...fine as long as you don’t have to play him too much.

The other minor-league signing was down in Baltimore with veteran shortstop Alicides Escobar. Escobar won a World Series, but he’s also been perhaps the worst regular player over the last few years. The Orioles are, of course, a disaster so it’s hard to criticize any move they make. There’s at bats to be had pretty much everywhere. Still, this match feels perfect.