NEW YORK -- Carsten Sabathia's passport was in hand and his travel itinerary was set as the Yankees hurler prepared to join Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox on a tour of London, promoting the June 2019 series that will feature the American League East rivals across the pond. He
NEW YORK -- Carsten Sabathia's passport was in hand and his travel itinerary was set as the Yankees hurler prepared to join Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox on a tour of London, promoting the June 2019 series that will feature the American League East rivals across the pond. He never made it to the airport.
Shortly before his planned departure, the 38-year-old began experiencing several concerning symptoms, leading to the discovery of a blocked artery leading to his heart. As first reported by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, Sabathia had a stent inserted to clear the blockage, and he is expected to be ready for the beginning of Spring Training.
"CC is in great spirits, and he's looking forward to the season," a source close to the hurler told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
According to Rosenthal's report for The Athletic, Sabathia was experiencing symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, and noticed that he was sweating more quickly than usual while riding an exercise bike.
A stress test revealed the blockage, and Sabathia was scheduled for an angioplasty, which was performed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Dec. 11. Sabathia had a follow-up visit with doctors on Friday, and he has been cleared to resume lifting light weights.
He was told that his prognosis is excellent, both in the short term and long term, and plans to join the rest of the Yankees' pitchers and catchers when they report to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 13.
"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 said. "We are also encouraged that the procedure CC underwent was performed as planned."
Sabathia signed a one-year, $8 million contract to return to the Yankees on Nov. 7, and he has said that he intends for 2019 to be the final season of his 19-year career. He is also recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the third consecutive year he has required a cleanup.
The Yankees project to slot him at the back end of a rotation that will also feature Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ.
"He is such a dynamic person beyond his excellence on the field, and we will proceed with his health at the forefront of our priorities," Cashman said. "We will continue to follow the guidance and expertise of the doctors, who have conveyed that CC will report as scheduled to Tampa in February to prepare for the 2019 season."
Sabathia went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts for the Yankees this past season, producing his lowest ERA since 2012. Sabathia completed 153 innings, two shy of reaching a $500,000 bonus, which the Yankees gave him anyway.
Since his debut in 2001, Sabathia leads the Majors in wins (246), starts (538), strikeouts (2,986), innings pitched (3,470) and quality starts (313), while ranking second in complete games (38) and tied for third in shutouts (12) over the span.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.