Tuesday afternoon the New York Yankees announced veteran left-hander CC Sabathia has been cleared to resume baseball activities. Sabathia underwent a heart procedure last month, and doctors cleared him for increased physical activity following a stress test Tuesday.
Sabathia, 38, underwent an angioplasty last month, which inserted a stent to clear an artery blockage. He first experienced symptoms during a workout, and, after contacting the team, he was directed to a heart specialist in New York. Sabathia resumed light workouts a week after the procedure. Now he can go back to his normal offseason routine.
Interestingly enough, GM Brian Cashman said last week he has put trade talks involving righty Sonny Gray on hold until the Yankees feel confident Sabathia will be ready for the regular season. Gray has been on the trade block all winter and Cashman has been very candid about wanting to move him.
"The CC thing, certainly when it developed it slowed down my conversations with intent because we have to see how this played out first," Cashman said. "And so once he has these follow-up appointments, I'll be in a much better position to either fully engage moving forward the Sonny Gray conversations that we've had or continue to slow walk it while we make sure that CC is taken care of healthwise first and foremost."
At the moment the Yankees have Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ penciled into the top four spots in their rotation, in whatever order. Sabathia was expected to be the fifth starter before his heart procedure and Gray an expensive swingman. Now that Sabathia has been cleared to resume baseball activities, a Gray trade could soon follow.
Sabathia's days as a workhorse ace are long gone, though he did throw 153 innings with a 3.65 ERA (120 ERA+) last season. He is 14 strikeouts away from 3,000 -- he'd join Hall of Famers Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton as the only lefties in the 3,000 strikeout club -- and four wins away from 250. Sabathia has said 2019 will be his final season.