We’re right around the corner from the MLB All-Star game, but let’s not think too far ahead. This week was full of big news and even included a blockbuster trade. Let’s get caught up!
Sabathia’s Season, Possibly Career, Over
Throughout his entire career, people have criticized New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia for his weight, and they’ve said time and time again that his excess baggage would eventually cause his career to end sooner than it should. This offseason, he took that criticism to heart and changed things.
Coming into this year, Sabathia had trimmed down to 275, which is quite a bit less than the 300+ he was carrying just a year or two before. Unfortunately for CC, this reduced strain on his knees wasn’t enough to prevent the possible microfracture surgery that he could be facing.
Manager Joe Girardi has already said that he doesn’t expect him back this season, but this surgery could potentially end his career. It’s more typical in the NBA, with players such as Greg Oden and Amar’e Stoudemire having gone through the same procedure, and the results for those players haven’t really been all that promising.
If we’ve now seen the last of Sabathia, we can safely say that he can look back and be proud of the career he’s had. With 208 wins he’s currently one of the active leaders, and someone who was once seen as having an outside shot at 300 wins. Given my disdain for the Yankees, I can’t say I have too many fond memories of him in pinstripes, but I can say it was a joy to watch him during his run with Milwaukee where he carried the Brewers to the playoffs. Was that stretch the most dominant half season of the last decade?
Red Sox, Orioles Exchange Insults
In a bit more AL East news, the Baltimore Orioles are once again at the heart of some non-baseball related drama. First, it was Manny Machado throwing his bat at the Oakland Athletics, and now it’s their manager, Buck Showalter, trading insults with Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey.
Admittedly, this one is at the fault of Lackey. After being roughed up by the Orioles (his third consecutive poor start) Lackey made an underhanded comment about Nelson Cruz, who went 5-for-5 in the game and 3-for-3 off of him. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There are some things I’d like to say about him, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”
This, of course, was a reference to Cruz’s suspension last season for PED use. Showalter didn’t take long for to respond to this, saying that, “everybody needs to make sure that their own backyard is clean.”
While this has provided for some headlines across the sporting world, it all could have been avoided if Lackey would have just kept his mouth shut. There was really no reason for him to make the comments that he did, other than just being bitter about getting rocked by him. He’s had a great year, but he needs to focus on baseball rather than getting into a war of words. Who do you think is in the right in this situation?
The Shark Is Finally On The Move
Watch out, Bay Area, a shark is coming to the area.
…I can’t believe I just wrote that. Terrible headlines aside, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel heading to Oakland may be the biggest blockbuster that we’ll see this season, and it occurred after months and months of speculation.
Some Cubs fans may not be happy with the return of Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily, but as Joe Aiello noted the other day, you just can’t be sure of what other teams were offering for them separately without having been involved in the trade discussions personally.
In my mind, both teams won here, but this largely favors the Cubs in the long run. Russell is one of the top prospects in all of baseball and adds to an already stacked farm for the team, and that’s not even mentioning that McKinney was the Athletics number 2 prospect.
Sure, it may be tough to see current talent moved for future prospects, but I don’t think the Cubs were going to get a better return than this. Samardzija is going to want big money on the open market and he probably wasn’t going to return to Chicago, and Hammel was just a one-year rental that they were going to flip regardless. After having a few days to think about it, what are your thoughts on the trade?
This Week’s MVP: Steve Pearce (.379/.406/.793, 3 HR, 10 RBI)
This Week’s Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 21 K)