CC Sabathia
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The big New York Yankees lefty, CC Sabathia, has been cleared for exercise and baseball activities following offseason heart surgery.

New York Yankees veteran lefty CC Sabathia has been cleared by his doctors for working out and baseball activities following a recent heart procedure, the team said. The good news was confirmed on Twitter by Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Sabathia, 38, underwent surgery on Dec. 11 to have a stent inserted to clear a blockage in one of his arteries. He was always expected to be ready for Spring Training, but heart surgery always gives everyone pause. The Yankees were concerned enough that (arguably) Sonny Gray trade talks were put on the back burner just to be safe.

If Sabathia hit a speed bump, having Gray in pinstripes would have provided a stopgap until the big lefty was ready to return.

Now, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Barring any unexpected setbacks, CC Sabathia will begin his final season right on time. He went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts in 2018 and will begin 2019 just 14 strikeouts shy of 3,000 for his career.

The Yankees are surely relieved, as Sabathia is also a strong clubhouse leader on top of being a reliable arm in the rotation.

Moreover, this means a few things are about to happen. First, expect Gray trade talks to heat back up again. With the big southpaw healthy, he’s now expendable.

Second, and this is important, expect CC Sabathia to lay off the Cap’n Crunch. Heart surgery does that to a person.

Lastly, expect him to be locked and loaded as he looks to end his Hall of Fame career with a World Series ring.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.