MLB notebook: Sabathia retiring after 2019 season

New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, a Cy Young Award winner and the major league's active leader in strikeouts and innings pitched, confirmed Saturday this will be his final season. Sabathia made the announcement at a press conference from the Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa, Fla. "All I ever wanted for people to remember me as is just as a good teammate," said Sabathia, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2007. "I look forward to 2019 being a championship season for us, me going out and giving everything I have." Sabathia, 38, has a 246-153 record in 18 seasons, the past 10 with the Yankees. He is on the verge of becoming the 17th pitcher in major league history to reach 3,000 strikeouts, entering the season with 2,986 in 3,470 innings. He would be just the third left-hander to reach the 3,000-strikeout milestone, joining Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton. --Among the most promising prospects at spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals, left-hander Genesis Cabrera is already getting high marks as a player to watch in 2019. Before reporting to his first big-league camp at Jupiter, Fla., the 22-year-old showed what he can do as a reliever in the Dominican Winter League. In 14 1/3 innings, he posted a 1.26 ERA with 21 strikeouts and only two walks. Cabrera impressed scouts and Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. "Caught my attention," Shildt said. "Caught our attention. Some people in the industry who I respect quite a bit, covering winter ball, texted me saying, 'This guy is pretty good.'" --The Baltimore Orioles signed veteran shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, the team announced. He gives the Orioles some middle infield depth as well as dependability. He played all 162 games in three of the past five seasons and played 155 or more games six times during eight seasons with the Kansas City Royals. Escobar, 32, batted .231 with four home runs and 34 RBIs in 140 games for Kansas City last year. He has a .258 career average with 41 homers, 442 RBIs and 174 steals in 1,437 games with the Milwaukee Brewers and Royals. --Reliever John Axford will join the Toronto Blue Jays in spring training on a minor-league deal, the team announced. If he makes the big-league squad, he'll earn $1.65 million. Axford, 35, was with Toronto for part of last season but was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July. He was 4-1 with 50 strikeouts in 51 innings with the Blue Jays. A 10-year veteran, Axford has pitched for eight teams and logged a 38-34 record with 144 saves and a 3.87 ERA. --Free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin has agreed to a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants and is heading to spring training as a non-roster invitee, according to multiple reports. During a 12-year career in the majors, Maybin, 31, has played for seven franchises, most recently the Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners in 2018. He hit .249 for the season with four home runs, 14 doubles and 28 RBIs in 129 games. Over his career, which included a stint with the World Series champion Houston Astros in 2017, Maybin has hit.254 with 60 home runs, 315 RBIs and 174 stolen bases. --Right-hander Jameson Taillon will be Pittsburgh's Opening Day starter, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle announced. The March 28 outing against the Reds in Cincinnati will mark the 27-year-old's first season-opening assignment. Taillon went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts last season. Hurdle said that Taillon will be followed by right-handers Trevor Williams and Joe Musgrove. Veteran right-hander Chris Archer will start Pittsburgh's home opener on April 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals. --Field Level Media