New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia pitched four scoreless innings in his final tuneup for opening day, a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Pitching in a steady drizzle, Sabathia faced 13 batters, allowed three hits and got five ground-ball outs. He finished spring training with 17 scoreless innings. ''I had some easy innings,'' Sabathia said.
Johnny Cueto is set to start on opening day for the Cincinnati Reds for the third straight season. First-year manager Bryan Price said Thursday that Cueto will pitch Monday at home against St. Louis. Price had to sort through a series of minor injuries, including Cueto's tender right shoulder, before making the final determination. Cueto missed a turn this spring because of soreness.
The Seattle Mariners hope Chris Young can solidify the back of their rotation until their staff gets healthy. The 34-year-old right-hander agreed Thursday to a $1.25 million, one-year contract after Seattle released veteran starters Randy Wolf and Scott Baker this week. Young can earn an additional $3,475,000 in roster and performance bonuses and would get the full amount if he makes 28 starts and pitches 180 innings. Young has not pitched in the majors since 2012, but Seattle is taking a chance he can be a serviceable starter behind Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez and James Paxton until Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker return from injuries.
Third baseman Mike Olt and outfielder Ryan Kalish have made the Chicago Cubs' opening day roster. ''Both of those guys played well and did a lot of things to make the team,'' general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday. ''We are really happy with the guys we kept, but it was a ready hard decision.'' Chris Coughlan will be sent to Triple-A Iowa to play outfield, and infielder Ryan Roberts has to decide whether he will report to Iowa or ask for his release, Olt, acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade on July 22, struggled with his vision last year and hit .197 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs at Triple-A Round Rock and Iowa.
Starling Marte wants to be part of what he hopes will be a long run of success for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Less than two years after his major league debut, the 25-year-old outfielder finalized a $31 million, six-year contract with the Pirates on Thursday. ''There are a lot of reasons,'' Marte said through interpreter Peter Greenberg, his agent. ''I didn't feel I needed to wait because I like where I am. I have confidence in the organization and I feel comfortable.'' Marte receives a $2 million signing bonus from the Pirates, who are coming off their first postseason appearance since 1991.