MLB PLAYER NEWS
Mallex Smith's (elbow) Opening Day status for Mariners in air
Seattle Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith (right elbow) will be limited the first 7-10 days of spring training, manager Scott Servais said.
The Mariners expect Smith to be an everyday starter in center field and the injury is to his throwing arm, so the club understandably wants to err on the side of caution with his recovery. "I don’t know right now," Servais replied when asked if Smith would be ready for Opening Day. "I don’t know if you are going to have a good idea until he picks up a ball again. We’re just trying to let it calm down." Smith, 25, was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this offseason and is expected to be an elite source of steals in 2019.
Smith slashed .296/.367/.406 with 40 stolen bases over 141 games (544 plate appearances) last season, adding 65 runs scored, 40 RBI, and 2 taters.
Ronald Acuna may lead off for Braves again this season
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna could bat leadoff again this season, manager Brian Snitker said.
"There's a few different ways we could go that are all really good," Snitker said. "We're just going to wait to see where we're at in a couple weeks. All those things will play itself out. You've got to start somewhere with a lineup. Then you kind of adjust and adapt as it goes and as players go, kind of similar to last year." Acuna said he enjoys leading off and would prefer to stay there. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year Award winner posted his best numbers at the top of the order in 2018, with a .328/.409/.634 slash and 1.042 OPS over 301 plate appearances.
The 21-year-old slashed .293/.366/.552 with 26 home runs, 64 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 steals across 487 plate appearances during last year's rookie campaign.
Pirates' Jameson Taillon will start on Opening Day
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon will be the Opening Day starter against the Cincinnati Reds.
Taillon will be the Pirates' Opening Day starter for the 2019 season after being picked to pitch against the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates' rotation for the first week after Taillon will be Trevor Williams, Joe Musgrove, and then Chris Archer.
Look for Taillon to build off a successful 2018 season where he pitched to a 14-10 record with a 3.20 ERA and 179 strikeouts.
Orioles sign shortstop Alcides Escobar to minor league contract on Saturday
The Baltimore Orioles signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract on Saturday.
Escobar will join the Orioles after agreeing to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Look for Escobar to provide depth at second base and shortstop primarily.
In 140 games last season, Escobar produced 112 hits and 8 stolen bases.
Yankees' CC Sabathia will retire after 2019 season
New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia will retire after the 2019 season.
Sabathia held a press conference on Saturday to announce the 2019 season will be his last. The veteran will head into his 19th year with a career record of 246-153 and 2986 strikeouts in 538 starts.
In ten seasons with the Yankees, Sabathia has pitched to a 129-80 record with 1593 strikeouts.
Yankees' Luis Severino agrees to four-year $40 million dollar extension on Friday
New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino will avoid arbitration after agreeing to a four-year $40 million dollar extension on Friday.
Severino will continue serving as the ace of the Yankees' starting staff after agreeing to a four-year extension on Friday. Look for the 24-year old to build off his strong 2018 season despite struggling after the All-Star break.
In 32 starts last season, Severino went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts.
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