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2019 1B Dilemma: Bird, Voit, or someone else?

The Yankees have failed to solidify the first base position ever since Mark Teixeira retired after the 2016 season. Over the last three seasons, New York has gotten nowhere near the production the 2015 All-Star Teixeira gave them. That year, he slashed .255/.357/.548 with 22 doubles, 31 home runs, and 79 RBI before his season was cut short to a broken leg.
Many believed 2011 fifth-round pick Greg Bird was the solution at first base as he tore up the minors in 2013-2015, leading to a mid-August call up to the bigs in 2015. Bird started 44 games in August and September amid some Teixeira injuries, and he hit .261 with 11 homers and 30 RBI.

CC Sabathia’s presence, personality, and performance will all be valuable to the Yankees in 2019


When the rumors swirled that the Yankees were working out a deal with CC Sabathia, fans furiously responded with mixed emotions. The news was just out that both the Indians and the Mariners were looking to hold fire sales on some of their most valued pitchers and fans were excited by the prospect of landing Corey Kluber or James Paxton, or both, for the starting rotation. CC Sabathia seemed like a has been by comparison, and fans were clamoring that the Yankees were being too conservative this offseason.
 
Photo Credit: NY Post


CC Sabathia is in the company of some of Yankeedom’s most revered starting pitchers of the last 20 years: Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and David Wells. Although none of these players are in the Hall of Fame - yet, an argument can be made for each of them and one day the argument will be made that CC Sabathia is a Hall of Fame pitcher as well. In CC Sabathia, the Yankees have a player with elite accolades and veteran presence that can only benefit the team.

For the savvy Yankees fan, Sabathia’s and Ryan Ruocco’s podcast R2C2 is required listening.  Sabathia lets his hair down, so to speak, and in their most recent podcast which came out November 7th, Sabathia says that 2019 will be his final season, not just in the Yankees organization but in baseball.  In the podcast, Sabathia is excited about rejoining the Yankees and tells the audience he’s ready to go now, wishing the season started today.  He thinks it will be fun and cool in his final season to be able to take it all in and still play. Sabathia is going to leave it all on the table in 2019, and appears ready to prove he still has something left to contribute as he plays out his final season.

After a season in which he pitched to a 3.65 ERA over 29 games with a 9-7 record, he’s ready to take it into 2019 and continue to succeed at an elite level for his age and repertoire. The main complaint fans have about Sabathia is that if he only pitches four innings, the Yankees will burn out the bullpen; however, Sabathia pitched five-plus innings in 21 of his 29 games this season.  He’s not being asked to be a top of the rotation guy, but he’ll fill out the back end of the rotation by pitching five-plus quality innings, while keeping his team in the game. The Yankees saw their rotation include Luis Cessa, Domingo German, and other inexperienced players in some important games, so having Sabathia as depth in the backend of the rotation will only pay dividends.

Yankee fans know when they see Sabathia on the mound they’re going to get a gritty, smart, successful outing that will more often than not put them in a position to win the game. I am looking forward to another season of big performances by one of the Yankees most trusted arms. Sabathia brings a warrior-like intensity and passion to every performance, and Yankee fans are assured of watching Sabathia finish with class what is a Hall of Fame career.

Article by: Chris Northrop

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