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Alex Cobb agrees with Baltimore Orioles on four-year deal worth close to $60 million

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Veteran starter Alex Cobb has agreed with the Baltimore Orioles on a four-year contract worth close to $60 million, FanRag Sports reports.

The 30-year-old right-hander posted career highs for wins, games started and innings pitched while going 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA over 29 starts with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017.

Cobb’s career year for the Rays marked his comeback from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him most of the previous two seasons. Cobb went 1-2 with an 8.59 ERA in 2016 after returning late that season from the ligament-replacement procedure.

Cobb ranks fifth in wins and second in ERA on the Rays’ career list with a 48-35 record and 3.50 ERA over six seasons.

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Giancarlo Stanton returns from quad injury as Yankees’ DH for Game 5

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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup for what could be their final game of the postseason.

Stanton is the team’s starting designated hitter and will hit cleanup in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros, with Houston holding a commanding 3-1 series lead.

The left fielder suffered a right quadriceps strain in Game 1, a 7-0 win for the Yankees, while legging out a single in his first at-bat. Stanton also had a solo home run in the sixth inning of that game.

Manager Aaron Boone said ahead of Game 4, an 8-3 loss for the Yankees, that Stanton was available as a pinch hitter and that he was considering Stanton as the designated hitter for Friday’s game.

Boone hopes Stanton’s bat will spark a morose Yankees offense that scored a total of six runs in their three consecutive losses against Houston.

Having Stanton at DH meant benching Edwin Encarnacion, who is struggling in the ALCS, hitting .067 (1 for 15) with eight strikeouts.

By sending Encarnacion to the bench, the Yankees were able to keep their best defensive alignment in the infield, with DJ LeMahieu starting at first base and Gio Urshela at third.

Boone said before Game 5 that it would be a tough choice to start Stanton over Encarnacion. “[Encarnacion] is a great hitter that can wreck a game in a hurry,” Boone said. “You’re trying to kind of walk that line, strike that balance. I would want to feel pretty good about it because if [Stanton] goes in there, it’s taking out a good player.”

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Stanton returns from quad injury as Yankees’ designated hitter for Game 5

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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup for what could be their final game of the postseason.

Stanton is the team’s starting DH and will hit cleanup in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, with Houston holding a commanding 3-1 series lead.

The left fielder suffered a right quad strain in Game 1, a 7-0 win for the Yankees, legging out a single in his first at-bat. Stanton also had a solo home run in the sixth inning in the only game New York has won against Houston this ALCS.

Manager Aaron Boone said ahead of Game 4, an 8-3 loss for the Yankees, that Stanton was available as a pinch hitter and was considering him as the possible starting designated hitter for Friday’s game.

Boone hopes Stanton’s bat will spark a morose Yankees offense that scored a total of six runs in their three consecutive losses against Houston that also included a 3-2 defeat in Game 2, and a 4-1 loss in Game 3.

Having Stanton at DH meant benching Edwin Encarnacion, with the 36-year-old slugger struggling in the League Championship Series, hitting .067 (1-for-15) with 8 strikeouts.

By sending Encarnacion to the bench, the Yankees were able to keep their best defensive alignment in the infield, with DJ LeMahieu starting at first base and Gio Urshela at third.

Boone said before Game 5 that it would be a tough choice to start Stanton over Encarnacion: “[Encarnacion] is a great hitter that can wreck a game in a hurry. You’re trying to kind of walk that line, strike that balance. I would want to feel pretty good about it because if he goes in there, it’s taking out a good player. So I’ll just, I’ll need to feel good about it.”

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CC Sabathia’s career done as Yankees add Ben Heller to ALCS roster

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The New York Yankees officially removed CC Sabathia from the roster for the American League Championship Series on Friday, replacing him with right-handed reliever Ben Heller.

Sabathia would not be eligible to return should the Yankees get to the World Series, so the 39-year-old left-hander has made his final appearance in pinstripes.

Sabathia’s knee buckled and his shoulder seemed to give out as he tried to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning of the Houston Astros‘ 8-3 win in Game 4 of the ALCS Thursday night. He walked off the mound toward second, spoke with head athletic trainer Steve Donahue and tried a warm-up toss, hoping somehow to push through, but he had to leave.

The Yankees said Sabathia suffered a subluxation — or partial dislocation — of his left shoulder joint.

Sabathia, who along with outfielder Brett Gardner is one of the two remaining members of the 2009 World Series championship team, limped off the field with tears in his eyes. He had announced that he was retiring after the season.

“It’s tough man, he’s a great person, a great player,” outfielder Aaron Hicks said. “He’s gonna be a Hall of Famer. To see a guy like that go out like that is, is not the way you want to see it. He means a lot to this team, a lot to his organization, and for him to go out like that, it’s not something you want.”

Heller had a 1.23 ERA and nine strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings for the Yankees this season after returning from Tommy John surgery.

A six-time All-Star and the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner with Cleveland, Sabathia finished with a 251-161 regular-season record with 3,093 strikeouts. He had made four trips to the injured list this year caused by his balky right knee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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