Yankees News: CC Sabathia Announces He Will Retire After 2019 MLB Season

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2019

New York Yankees' CC Sabathia pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

CC Sabathia has confirmed 2019 will be his last year as a Major League Baseball pitcher.

The New York Yankees left-hander made the announcement Saturday during a press conference.

"I just wanted to make this announcement that 2019 is my final season," Sabathia said. 

Bryan Hoch @BryanHoch

#Yankees LHP CC Sabathia announces that 2019 will be his final @mlb season: https://t.co/GMfNVIOxxZ

Sabathia had been expected to make public his decision retire at the end of his 19th season. SNY.tv's Andy Martino reported Wednesday the Yankees were planning a press conference this weekend for the six-time All-Star.

New York Yankees @Yankees

One man's #LegaCCy. https://t.co/Oooh3RnPsw

"All I ever wanted was to be remembered as a good teammate ... and I anticipate 2019 will be a championship season," Sabathia said, per ESPN's Coley Harvey

It's a testament to how beloved Sabathia is that the Yankees rounded up a number of quotes from athletes, celebrities and government officials congratulating him on a great career:

James Wagner @ByJamesWagner

The Yankees amassed a wide array of voices about Sabathia’s career, from Derek Jeter to LeBron James to Steve Kerr to Fat Joe: https://t.co/sN1dbPYcsE

Bryan Hoch @BryanHoch

Among those congratulating CC Sabathia on his career: LeBron James. https://t.co/a3MIYWLUOR

Sabathia, 38, has had health problems in recent years. He's only reached 30 starts in a season once since 2014 and has fallen short of 155 innings three times during that span. 

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported in December that Sabathia had to undergo an angioplasty after a blockage was found in one of the arteries in his heart. 

"We are thankful that CC was smart enough to convey his symptoms to our medical staff, and in turn, they immediately engaged New York-Presbyterian Hospital, who quickly determined the root cause of what ailed him," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters. "We are also encouraged that the procedure CC underwent was performed as planned."

Knee problems have also been an ongoing problem for Sabathia. The California native has had to wear a brace that helps keep him stabilized while pitching and will eventually need to have knee replacement surgery. 

In the prime of his career, Sabathia was one of the best pitchers in MLB. He debuted at age 20 for the Cleveland Indians in 2001, finishing second in AL Rookie of the Year voting to Ichiro Suzuki. 

Per FanGraphs, Sabathia's 67.8 wins above replacement lead all MLB pitchers since 2001. 

Sabathia won the AL Cy Young Award and helped Cleveland reach the American League Championship Series in 2007. The southpaw had one of the best second-half runs in 2008. He posted a 1.65 ERA with seven complete games in 17 starts after being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers to help the team win the NL Wild Card. 

After he signed with the Yankees the following offseason, Sabathia finished in the top four of AL Cy Young voting in each of his first three years with the team. He was named MVP of the ALCS en route to helping New York win the World Series in 2009. 

The Yankees have championship aspirations this season after they won 100 games in 2018. Sabathia will attempt to end his career on a high note with another World Series title before hanging up his cleats for good. 


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