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CC Sabathia expects to play next season and beyond

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia delivers

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia delivers against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning of an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CC Sabathia looks to his right and sees the locker that used to be occupied by Alex Rodriguez. He looks down the far side of the row and sees the locker used by the retiring Mark Teixeira.

Sabathia, who will start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, is close to reaching a vesting option that will guarantee him $25 million to pitch for the Yankees in 2017. So he’s not retiring anytime soon.

Sabathia told Newsday on Tuesday that he plans on pitching after his Yankees contract is up.

“As long as I’m healthy,” Sabathia said, “I want to play as long as I can. I haven’t given any thought to retiring.”

Sabathia, 36, will see his contract option become guaranteed as long as he does not suffer a left shoulder injury during the season’s final seven weeks.

Austin to see more time at first

Even though Mark Teixeira started at first base Tuesday night because of his career success against Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada, manager Joe Girardi said rookie Tyler Austin will continue to see more time at first, including a start Wednesday in the final game of the series.

“You give Tyler bits and pieces too and the more you feel you can handle you give to him,” Girardi said.

Austin homered in his first major league at-bat and went 3-for-8 to start his career was given a day off Tuesday.

But Girardi hasn’t forgotten about Greg Bird, who hit .261 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs in 157 at-bats last season, saying “He’s definitely in our plans and we think he’s going to be a very good player.” Bird is out for the season with a right shoulder labrum tear.

Trainer’s room

Brett Gardner (ankle) did not start for the fourth straight game. Girardi revealed that Gardner had an MRI on Monday. The Yankees hope he can return on Wednesday.

New York Sports