Did the Yanks offer Sabathia enough?

Book Review: Daniel R. Levitt's Ed Barrow
New York stadium updates

We all know by now that CC Sabathia is sitting on a few $100-million offers. The Brewers seem willing to give him $100 million over five years; the Yanks would like his services for six years at $140 million.

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a tough decision. The Yankees are offering more stability in term sof the number of years and more money in pure dollars. If only life — and baseball — were that simple.

In an excellent piece of analysis earlier this week, Jeff Sackman at Brew Crew Ball examined how these two offers aren’t as different as the media would make them out to be. First, we have the issue of average annual value. The Brewers are reportedly offering $20 million a season while the Yanks’ contract comes in at $23.3 million. If Sabathia truly does enjoy the NL and Milwaukee, would a meager $3.3 million per season be enough to convince him to come to New York?

But more importantly, is that really a difference of $3.3 million per year? Using some cost-of-living adjustments and basic economic assumptions, the Brew Crew Ball has put together a spreadsheet tracking the two offers. Sackman provides the explanation:

Depending on to what degree Sabathia wants to engage with his new community, that’ll be more expensive in New York. First and foremost, he’ll pay more taxes as a part- or full-time resident of NYC. If he wants to buy a celeb-style compound for his family, it might take $20MM for such a place on Long Island; for the same amount, he could probably buy Manitowoc.

This is a tough adjustment for us to figure, because we don’t know just how much money CC would spend in NY or MKE. With that caveat, I think the taxes alone would come close to an extra 10% bite on Yankees earnings. Mykenk’s spreadsheet estimates something closer to 15%, which isn’t all that far-fetched, either.

So…if we use the 10% number, $140 looks more like $126–a yearly value of just barely more than the Brewers offer. If we up that to 15%, the Yankees are down to $119, or slightly less on an annualized basis.

Now, as Sackman, notes there are plenty of other considerations to take into account. The total value figure of the Yanks’ offer is fairly shocking and would certainly set the bar high for future free agent pitchers. Sabathia’s odds of winning a championship are higher in New York than in Milwaukee. The players association may pressure CC into taking the higher offer.

But in the end, Sackman has a point that I hope the Yanks and CC’s agent understand. The Yanks’ offer just isn’t as high as we all thought, and perhaps, that’s one of the reasons why Sabathia’s camp has remained silent on the state of the lefty’s free agency.

Book Review: Daniel R. Levitt's Ed Barrow
New York stadium updates
  • Babe’s Ghost

    That analysis didn’t take into account the endorsement value of playing for the premier team in MLB that plays in the largest media market in the country and is locked in the most telegenic rivalry. How much did the Rocket make in endorsements? CC should do just as well.

    Of course it’s also the toughest place to play because of the level of media scrutiny and the demanding fans. But once you prove yourself (by winning) the fans won’t desert you even if you are accused of using illegal substances (Rocket) or lose a step (Jeter). The media, on the other hand, will stab you in the back for a cheap headline.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      That’s a very good point. The endorsement value of playing in New York and being the Yankees ace, I’m sure, is materially higher than it would be playing in Milwaukee.

      • Joey H

        Not to mention I can see him doing all these Jeter/Joba like commercials for Gatorade or Nike or what have you. That should be brought up as well.

      • ceciguante

        it’s WAY higher in nyc. wouldn’t be shocked if the real difference is millions a year higher.

    • Reggie C.

      CC making Ford commercials alongside DJ would be a pretty cool pairing.

      • steve (different one)

        i’d like to see CC get into a Honda FIT.

      • jsbrendog

        jeter’s got an edge

        cc’s got an escape

        • http://yankeesmtom.blogspot.com Steven

          Great, cause you can never have too many Jeter Edge commercials.

          Shouldn’t it be Mussina or Torre’s got an Escape?

    • dan

      I was thinking the exact same thing as I read that.

  • Joey H

    That is a genius observation. How much more though?

  • kenthadley

    as Yogi would say, “if he doesn’t want to come here, then no money wont make him”……….how about we sign no stinking greedy pitchers except Pettitte, and go with all the kids and Wang…….we keep the $ for when the rest of these high bidders choke on their mistakes, and pick up what we need in June/July….in the meantime, sign Tex and maybe pick up a good OF……
    cheap vet

    • Joey H

      Eh, after last season the Yankees will be very gingerly to take this approach again with relying on the young guns.

      • steve (different one)

        “cheap vet” = Sidney Ponson.

        i think the yankees do have to sign at least 1 non-Pettitte pitcher.

      • kenthadley

        remember, CC was available last year in May-June, as were others……if we wait it out, maybe one of the kids really comes through, which makes our $/prospects even more appealing come June…..I’m not saying stay all year if it doesn’t work, but after a while, 5 years for AJ, 160 for CC, 5 years for the others seems ridiculous…..

        • andrew

          but at the end of the day, when you trade for a cc-esque pitcher, you end up having to pay for him in prospects and in money. thats why the santana trade was not made and thats why they are going after cc, burnett, lowe so hard. i hope they make a deal now rather than trading kennedy+jackson for a stud pitcher and then having to pay him cc money

  • Matt

    Fuck CC then if he’s scared to pitch in NY…er…I mean doesn’t want to pitch in NY or likes the NL better, or wants to hit, or like the West Coast, which ever excuse..err…reason his agent is spinning right now.

    Let’s sign Tex, sign Burnett and look at possible trades.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Stop it. Seriously. You all pursuing this line of reasoning sound ridiculous. No one is saying Sabathia doesn’t want to pitch in New York except you and others who think that. In fact, all of CC’s friends think he’ll pitch in New York. Would they really be saying that if it’s not on his mind?

      Plus, think about it: Just because he likes Milwaukee and the NL doesn’t mean he wouldn’t pitch in New York. He knows the Yanks need and want him badly. Wouldn’t you try to milk a team for as much as you could in that situation?

      • Steve H

        Negotiation 101

        • B.George

          Yeah I can call up a reporter and say that I am CC’s friend and say he wants to pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays for half of what the Yanks are offering…..how do they know I am CC friend? And this is the only way CC’s agent can negotiate a contract when they Yanks knock out most of the teams in on the CC sweepstakes. Throw out smokescreens saying he doesnt wanna come here and blah blah blah. PLay the stories up with the Yanks offer and the money will go up.

      • Matt

        What friends? Come on, you talk like you have inside knowledge…

        I just don’t want another guy to come here for big money, struggle, and then in August we hear whispers that he’s “not comfortable in NY”.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Inside knowledge? Hardly. How about Jimmy Rollins or LeBron?

          Point me to one person besides doom-and-gloom commenters here who think Sabathia actively doesn’t want to play in New York.

          • Matt

            Um, please use some better sources if you’re going to make a point.

            JRoll said he thinks CC will be in NY because “They’ve got enough money, and they need him.”

            And Lebron basically is just a fan of the Yanks said “We’re gonna get him. Absolutely.”

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              At least I’m using sources. That’s more than you’ve done with your expletive-laden rant about how CC doesn’t want to pitch in New York.

              You seem to have no idea how negotiation through the media works. Do you think these guys are just spouting off at the hip for the fun of it? As Steve H. said, “Negotiation 101.”

            • dan

              Better sources? Like you claiming that he’s scared and doesn’t want to pitch here. Right.

              • Matt

                I tried posting a comment with like 3 different links to stories claiming he prefers the NL, but it won’t show.

                SI.com, a NJ newspaper, and ny post

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

                  The Heyman piece doesn’t say Sabathia doesn’t want to come to New York. It says he prefers the West Coast. There’s a big, big difference. And in fact, it features a quote from an unnamed GM predicting Sabathia would land in New York.

                  The same is true for The Post piece and the NJ.com piece. Preferring the West Coast is one thing; not wanting to come to New York is a completely different circumstance altogether.

                • Steve H

                  Matt, put a name of one of CC’s friends/advisers where these reports are coming from. Is CC’s mom saying it? Is one of his good friends? There is nothing to back up your links other than “leaked” rumors. Leaked to drive up the Yankees’ price, plain and simple. If he didn’t want to go to New York at all, they would find a way to drive up the price for his other potential suitors. The Yankees are the only team these “sources” are driving (or attempting to) drive up the price for. If CC wanted to pitch for the Brewers, or the Dodgers, or any team not the Yankees, doesn’t saying he won’t play in NY make their urgency and price tag lower? Of course it would, which is why, if he truly didn’t want to play in NY, this crap wouldn’t be out there. He would be losing money by doing that. If he didn’t want to play in NY, he’d say he’s interested in NY, which would drive up the price for his other suitors.

                • Matt

                  You’re right, their haven’t been any direct quotes saying “CC doesn’t want to play in NY”, but on the same note, their haven’t been any saying the opposite. (And I don’t consider JRoll and LBJ saying he wants to pitch in NY)

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

                  Two things:

                  1. That’s a strawman argument. There haven’t been any direct quotes from CC saying he wants to pitch anywhere. He enjoyed his time in Milwaukee. That’s been the extent of his comments.

                  2. To yet again reiterate what Steve keeps saying, why would CC overplay his hand and come out say where he wants to pitch? That immediately removes any bargaining power he would have potentially enjoyed over his preferred destination. When you’re a pitcher in high demand, you don’t say where you want to go off the bat.

                • Steve H

                  And to add to your last line, if you have a suitor who #1 is somewhat desperate to have you , and #2 can outpay anyone, anytime, anywhere, wouldn’t you have it leaked that that’s the place you don’t want to go? That is a surefire way to drive up the price for that team.

                • Jay CT

                  The closest you have heard from CC was when he basically said goodbye and thank you to Milwaukee. Perhaps Matt work like in retail or something; some place where there is no negotiating going on. CC wants 2 things right now for sure.

                  1- The Yankees to believe he wants to pitch on the west coast so they pay more


                  2- The west coast teams to know CC got a big fat offer from NY.

                  Regardless of what team he chooses (which he has already decided Im sure), he needs to play the “Ummm I am torn” card.

                  Anyone who is smart would be stalling right now. The Yankees start sweating, thinking they might not get him. The hefty lefty comes back with a 175 million dollar contract saying this is what it takes becuase taxes are higher and I love LA. Yankees say thats too much, here is 160, and he winds up with 50 million more then the next closest bidder. I actually think the longer he waits, the more likely he is to sign here.

  • B.George

    What people around baseball need to understand is that…THIS IS THE FIRST OFFER!!!! Its drives me absolutley crazy that people are saying he doesnt want to play in New York because he hasnt accepted the first offer. 6/140 is where the negotiating point in where they start to negotiate is. I can see the Yankees taking on taking on atleast 10 more million to the contract. And for this guy to say that 40 million dollars is not that big of a difference is absolutley absurd.

  • Steve H

    Maybe CC and his agent expect the Yankees to get desperate and add to their bid to assure he comes. Knowing the $140m is out there and he hasn’t taken it (I know it’s too soon, but if it drags out and there are no more legit offers), they can just wait until the Yankees decide they have to have him, and offer more. Either that, or as Peter Gammons wants you to believe CC hates the Yankees because they are the devil.

  • Conan the Barack O’Brian

    A number of reports, however, state that the Brewers’ offer is 4 years/$100 mil. If that’s true, not only does Sackman’s analysis smart, but Sabathia could conceivably make this his penultimate Big Contract. If they throw a couple options on top of that, they have an easy match.

    Anybody able to confirm or deny the length of their offer? I see it as four or five in a variety of reports w/o being able to discriminate between them.

    Another question that is just wild speculation, is whether CC values playing in the National League as equally attractive as playing on the left coast. In other words, how much more enticing is Milwaukee than New York, just b/c it’s an NL team? I mean, really.

    • steve (different one)

      i thought it was 5. i’d be shocked if the Brewers were offering $25M/year.

  • Patrick

    CC would also take a bigger hit with the proposed income tax hike in NYC.

  • Currambayankees

    In the end CC would make more in NY than he could ever make in Milwaukee. The endorsement deals he could get in Pinstripes far surpass what he could make with the Brew crew and yes he has a better chance at getting a ring in NY than Milwaukee. btw, who said he has to live in NY? He could just as well live in Florida.

    • Patrick

      I was talking along the lines of what happened to Derek Jeter and the whole income tax fiasco.

  • CB

    Sackman’s analysis was extremely poor. I have no idea if he has any background in economics but his method of valuation was completely inadequate and filled with logical errors.

    And as a whole it didn’t really say anything new. His analysis wasn’t about the respective monetized value of each offer.

    His analysis was largely limited to the impact of differences in cost of living between Milwaukee and NY.

    He ignored a host of other variable – even simple things – endorsements is just blaringly obvious. How Sackman couldn’t take this into account is hard to believe.

    But there are many others e.g. investment income/ interest accrued on the returns from the marginal difference between the offers. He doesn’t even factor into his analysis compound interest on the marginal difference between the offers. If CC made even $1M more real dollars in year one – even the most conservative compounded interest investment would return quite a bit of money over the next 6 years.

    He factors in no signing bonus. Signing bonuses and up front money are a big issue to all free agents this year because Obama is going to let the Bush tax cuts lapse and the marginal tax rate on nearaly all veteran baseball players will increase substantially on any income made during the 2009 season. They’ll want as much money now as they can. No way the Brewers have nearly the working capital to give a signing bonus like the yankees could.

    CC said he plans on living in the offseason in california and that his family will stay there. Sackman doesn’t take this into a account in his calculations (as scant as they are). If CC’s family for instance stays in CA during the season (as many if not most player family’s do) then the savings from differences in cost of living in Milwaukee would be completey different.

    His “guess” as to how the Yankees deal and Brewers deal would be structured is bizarre. There’s no indication that the yankees would so heavily back load CC’s contract while the brewers wouldn’t do the same. That’s like saying the Brewers have more working capital to spend than the yankees.

    In fact the yeankee’s offer is likely the exact opposite. The yankee’s backload contracts much, much less than most other teams do (even ARod’s mammouth deal). This is likely to be a huge advantage in the yankee offer compared to nearly all other offers CC gets.

    This is particularly true as the yankees can take advantage of the allowance MLB provides for teams building new stadiums in terms of lowered revenue sharing. Sackman never considers this at all.

    To give you a sense of the size of the yankee’s offer compare it to the Santana deal. Santana signed for $138M. But much of that money is deferred and being paid at below market interest. In essence Santana is giving the Mets a below market rate loan. In terms of real dollars Santana’s deal is worth “only” $123M.

    So the yankee’s offer may already be $17M real dollars higher than Santana’s. That’s enormous.

    I don’t believe any yankee is getting deferred money from the team (the only one getting any is ARod – but that’s deferred money from Texas). Nor does any player have a contract nearly as back loaded as Sackman assumes. If he’d checked Cots he would have seen that.

    What Sackman showed was that it costs more to live in NY. Who didn’t know that?

    Sure if you are a college student or a someone struggling to to get by cost of living is a big deal.

    But is that the case for someone making millions? Of course not. High wealth individuals often put a premium value on choice.

    Somehow in Sackman’s mind “buying Manitowoc” is equivalent to spending $20M on a house in the Hamptons. It’s not. There are a universe of reasons why many people want very badly to live in the Hamptons rather than buying a town in Wisconson.

    In many ways being exorbitantly wealthy and living in NY or LA or Miami makes wealth more useful. You get to choose the way you want to spend it. That’s why athletes live in these places and not in Manitowoc. There is no 20/20 club in Manitowoc last time I checked. Not saying this is a seller for CC – but it could be. Going to Knick games could be. Having choices on how to spend your millions has a real value to it. That’s why so many wealthy people live in manhattan.

    This “analysis” is ridiculous. It’s not that Sackman simply ignores one issue or another. He uses no coherent economic framework on how to value a contract. He just comes up with one major issue (cost of living) crunch’s some numbers in a spread sheet to make things come out the way he probably wants them to.

    If someone in the main stream media had written such nonsense people would be laughing at them. Yet I’ve seen it linked to on a number of different baseball sites. Remarkable.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I’m training to be a lawyer, not an economist. That’s my excuse.

      But this is a very well done rebuttal too. Thanks.

      • CB


        My comment was in no way a criticism directed at you. You guys run a great site. You keep conversation going and always have interesting points to make.

        I’ve honestly been a bit perplexed with how much interest this Sackman spread sheet has gotten (that’s what it is – a spread sheet not an analysis) I was more making a comment as a whole on how people call things “analyses” on the internet when they are just making stuff up ad hoc.

        My comments were directed towards that spread sheet.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Oh. I gotcha. I’m just saying that you hit upon points — very valid ones, in fact — that just wouldn’t have occurred to me because I don’t have a strong enough background in economics. Considering that Sackman advertises himself as a business school adviser of sorts over there, he should have done a more rigorous analysis of the Sabathia situation.

          • CB

            I don’t know anything about him. But if he does have some kind of business background. Then he was just being a fan and crunching numbers so they would come out the way he wanted them to.

    • steve (different one)

      If CC made even $1M more real dollars in year one – even the most conservative compounded interest investment would return quite a bit of money over the next 6 years.

      unless, of course, we head into a prolonged deflationary environment over the next several years, which isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.

      other than that, great writeup.

      you are the man, CB.

      • CB


        I agree. Deflation it is – so sure a money market isn’t going to be real attractive. I thought about touching on that but it seemed to complicated.

        But I also have no doubt CC will have some very good advice on how to use his millions in a deflationary market. He’ll buy real estates, invest in emerging markets perhaps. Whatever.

        The point is – Sackman doesn’t take the time value of money or potential opportunity costs into his “analysis” at all.

    • Steve H

      Send this to Sackman’s (what a name) editor, you might just take his job. And you could move to Milwaukee and enjoy that lower cost of living, and of course nothing else.

    • Jake H

      I like the rebuttal. More money is more money regardless.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      What CB says.
      Man, I need more education.

  • Jake H

    If CC comes he comes. If he doesn’t he doesn’t. Most players never leave money on the table, if he does good for him. He should go where he wants to. If that is in NY I will root for him, if not then he made his decision.

  • Manimal

    whats the rules for a owner being in the hall of fame? Since steinbrenner isn’t the owner anymore, is he elgible in 5 years to be in the hall of fame or is it 5 years after he dies?

  • Mike R.

    I worked in software sales for the last 6 years. What Sackman is doing is a classic sales technique. When you want to downplay a monetary difference you take to the lowest common denominator (AAV in this case). When you want to shift focus to the difference or make it seem larger you take to the highest denominator (Life of the contract).

    For example:

    The difference in offers comes down to 110K per start. Is 110K really enough of a difference?


    The offer is 40% higher than the nearest competitors. Who would say no to a 40% increase in pay?

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  • bkight13

    I think the signing bonus will be the difference maker. If the Yankees have included a $10m or $20m signing bonus and the Brewers do not, that will trump any cost of living spreadsheet. When you add the endorsements and other Yankee intangibles(national superstar status, championships, Lebron coming to the Knicks) he will have to sign. People always overrate the hometown signing. Players get a full 5 months of family time during the off season and the wife and kids can travel to NY for the summer.

  • Conan the Barack O’Brian

    I had a question earlier about the Brewers’ offer. Could be a mistake, but this is from yesterday’s MLB Hot Stove Blog:


    So it’s not 40% higher if Yankees are 6 years and Brewers are 4…

  • Baseballnation

    Who said the Yankees made a final offer anyway? I know Hal has said that the deal they offered will not be on the table forever, if Sabathia’s agent came in and said 150 million gets you Sabathia and a sombrero then the Yankees ould jump at that.

  • Conan the Barack O’Brian

    Irrelated, but I hear Hal is ready to do Yankee business with a strict moral compass leading the way.


  • Mike Pop

    But more importantly, is that really a difference of $3.3 million per year?

    It should be its still reportedly 40 million dollars more

    • Mike Pop

      disreagard this.. It doesnt say what I wanted it too

  • JK

    There was a report 2 weeks ago that the Brew Crew had a ton of deferred money in their offer!!!

    1. 100M deferred money offer from the Brewers
    2. 140M front loaded (like Arod), no deferred money, 10M+ signing bonus, 7th year team option with 5M (145M guaranteed) buyout offer from the Yankees?

    They could structure the deal so that CC gets 35M in year 1!

    There is a very good reason why the Brewers GM was complaining last week.

    • Conan the Barack O’Brian

      If anything, CC is probably sifting out what the different offers actually mean. That alone will take some time. But ZOMG!11!!!WERE TEH YANKESS!@!!@!!211


      which is a prelude to “golly gee that Charmin’ Carsten Charles is going to make one fine frontline Yankee starter!”

  • r.w.g.

    Don’t really know if his chances are better to win a WS in NYY. Going by past history, yes, but the talent level of both teams are similar — it’s just that a lot of the Brew Crew are, you know, actually under 30.

  • RustyJohn

    I was eating a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s while reading this- gotta love 440 calories for 99 cents- and began to wonder how much McDonald’s would pay CC in endorsement money if they chose to have him as a spokesperson. Then I thought, how many double cheeseburgers can CC Sabathia eat in one sitting?

  • cupz

    This ‘CC’ west coast thing has to stop. He and his agent have never once said that he would prefer the west coast, and I can definitely cite an article in which his agent denies that rumor….

    • Mike Pop

      He said in an interview that playing for the Giants would be an awesome thing during the season or something to that extent on ESPN

  • nyyank55

    Endorsements alone in NY would more than make up for any “difference”. What is he going to market in Milwaukee, cheese? Please, if a player wants to really show off his abilities, there is no bigger stage than NY. If he wants to just play out his career without the media attention and exposure, then let him stay where he is. I’m tired of players who can’t seem to be able to handle the limelight and spend their entire career playing in total obscurity just so they feel “comfortable”. What they should admit to themselves and the rest of the world is that they just can’t handle it.

  • http://scoop46 John Serchio

    I’m a life-long Yankee fan. I’ve never been to Milwaukee, but I grew up in Essex County NJ and I wouldn’t move back there for an extra TEN million a year. What I’m saying is that this may not be about money, but quality of life. If the greater NY metropolitan area doesn’t offer what CC considers quality of life, we’re sunk. If it’s about wanting to hit, tell him he can hit. He’s probably a better hitter than some DHs anyway. The Yanks need to wrap up at least one starter soon, so they can pursue Tex.

  • Relaunch

    Moot point. A 3.3MM difference in salary per year is still huge, even to millionaires. Also, his endorsements will be much higher than if he played for the Brewers. The offer is more than enough.

  • robert skollar

    While taking into account NYC’s higher cost of living…one must also calculate the huge amount of endorsement opportunities that a New York player receives.

    Some players can almost DOUBLE their contracts with the right endorsements and appearances.

  • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes

    The size of the Yankees offer to Sabathia is exactly what it should be. Its the most lucrative offer ever made to a starting pitcher.

    As Doug Melvin pointed out, the Yankees’ offer was too much. They could have offered him five years and $110 million as their starting point. That is what their $140 million offer over six years is: their starting offer.

    Why should the Yankees up their offer if Sabathia’s camp is incapable of giving them the decency of a response. We like it, we don’t like, we’d be seriously interested if the annual average salary was $25 million, etc. etc.

    The fact is that Sabathia, if he has any remote interest in playing in NY, should give them some kind of response. This plays into my opinion that he has never had any serious interest in playing for the Yankees. He is letting that contract sit where it is, wordless, while he awaits the highest offer from one of the Dodgers, Giants, or Angels. Simple as that. Not a bad move necessarily on his part, but from the Yankee perspective it is unbecoming and worthy of some kind of demand for response, even if that leads to his saying “No thanks.”

    At least they can move on.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      The fact is that Sabathia, if he has any remote interest in playing in NY, should give them some kind of response.

      That is what’s a load of crock. He’s waiting for more offers. It’s called a negotiating ploy. Remind me never to hire any of you as my agent.

      Meanwhile, if the Yanks aren’t up in arms that he hasn’t responded yet, why are you and all the people espousing this silly “he doesn’t want to play here” theory? How do you know he’s letting it sit there wordlessly? Are you privy to every conversation between Sabathia’s agent and the Yanks? Just because the media doesn’t know about it doesn’t mean they’re not talking.

      • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes

        Ben, my point revolves around this silly post by River Ave. blues about the minimal disparity in the offers. They aren’t much different other than the fact that one is the highest offer ever to a pitcher and the other isn’t.

        And yes, you’re right (as I pointed out too), that he is awaiting more offers. That is a rhetorical aspect of the whole thing.

        And if you’ll re-read my post, I didn’t claim to be “privy” to anything going on behind the scenes. This is the classic response by bozos who can’t fathom the fact that some people simply do not want to play in NY. CC might be one of them. Are you going to argue that its all hearsay that he doesn’t want to play in NY? I bet thats next.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          That’s just a mess of contradiction. How do you know that he hasn’t been in contact with the Yanks? One might be the so-called highest offer ever, but if the Brewers’ offer is for $20 million a year and the Yanks is for $23.3 million a year, who cares about total value besides you and a bunch of headline writers? Plus, some reports indicate that the contract from Milwaukee is for $25 mil a season and four seasons. Wouldn’t that much him the highest paid pitcher, per season, ever?

          As to your third paragraph, we’ve already discussed that in this thread, and no one — not a single person, sourced or unsourced — has ever said Sabathia doesn’t want to play in New York. They’ve said he prefers pitching in the NL and on the West Coast. They’ve never said he doesn’t want to pitch in New York. They’re two different statements.

          • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes

            Ben, I don’t care. I will share my opinion on here and you will like it. If you don’t, don’t read it.

            Personally, I really don’t care of Sabathia signs with us. Its one of those things where I welcome him if he does but don’t give a shat if he doesn’t. As Ralph said in so many words “S__T, or get off the pot.”

            In the long run, the Yankees are fine and the Yankees win because they are the greatest franchise ever and rings will come back sooner or later.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              Oh, don’t get my wrong; I’m not saying don’t share your opinion. We like it when people disagree with us around here. It makes for much, much better discussion. Don’t let my debating turn you away!

              • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes


                I just realized that you authored the post, so I see that my “bozo” comment might have rubbed you the wrong way.

                My basic points:
                1. The Yankees can, if necessary, blow any other offer away. If he signs with NY, bet that it will be a six or seven year contract in the neighborhood of $27 million per.
                2. If he doesn’t want to play in NY, so be it…not a big deal, just sets back our plans for 2009 a bit. I have never been the guy that expects NY to win it every year. I am realistic and baseball would suck if the Yankees won every year.

  • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes

    Oh, and all this cost of living BS is absurd. Anyone making over $10 million a year loses the right to complain about cost of living. What a crock.

  • ralph

    Let him take a walk. He has a good chance of being a big bust (no pun intended) if he’s afaid of NY, and he was awful in the AL last year. Sign Tex, Dunn, Lowe, Pettitte, trade for Peavy and a centerfielder.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.


      Sabathia in the AL last year: 122.1 IP, 3.83 ERA, 123 K
      Take out his first four starts, and you get this line: 104.1 IP, 2.16 ERA, 110 K.

      He’s got a career 3.66 ERA in 1659.1 innings, all but 130.2 of them in the AL. How can you remotely say he’s awful in the AL and will be a big bust?

      • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes


        Ralph didn’t say he was awful, he said he could be a big bust, which he could, though it is doubtful he will.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          ralph says:
          November 22nd, 2008 at 6:24 pm

          Let him take a walk. He has a good chance of being a big bust (no pun intended) if he’s afaid of NY, and he was awful in the AL last year. Sign Tex, Dunn, Lowe, Pettitte, trade for Peavy and a centerfielder.

          Actually, he did :)

          • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes

            Well then, he shouldn’t have and if there was an “Edit Comments” button we’d have to encourage him to use it.

  • The Mad Prince in Pinstripes


    Your solution if he doesn’t sign is extreme, but yes, I agree.

    I think the Yankee needs are robust in the starting pitcher area and that they need quicker resolve than others might think. MY OPINION, not claiming to be privy.

  • Bocephus

    I realize that after not getting Santana and missing the playoffs, the powers that be (Hankentenstein in particular) and plenty of Yankee fans are fixated on getting the biggest, shiniest toy on the shelf this winter. That’s Sabathia (literally and figuratively), but the Yankees should have figured out in the 80s that drastically overpaying guys who’d rather be someplace else really isn’t a good idea.

  • toad

    Comparing $20 mil/yr to $23.3 mil isn’t the right way to do it. The extra year is critical. Look at it this way. Suppose the Yankees’ offer is exactly the same as the Brewers’ for the first five years, but then adds a sixth year at $40 million. Simplifying quite a bit, that’s the comparison.

    How much difference does that make to CC? I think it should make a lot. Five years is a long time and a lot can happen – injuries, bad years, etc. Locking up the $40 mil has to be a good idea, I think. CC may disagree, but that’s the way he should be thinking. (Plus all the other issues raised above, of course. I know the offers are not identical for years 1-5. Just simplifying.)

  • Phil McCracken

    None of the players are full time residents of NY. They all dodge NY city and state taxes by being full time residents of a state like Florida.

    LeBron needs to step up his NY sales pitch to CC. With the trades Walsh just pulled off, LeBron is as good as a Knick in 2010.

  • Chris

    we’re forgetting the endorsement opportunities which are unique to a market like NY, aren’t we? There is a hell of a lot more money to be made in NY than there is in Milwuakee that would more than cover this cost of living problem.

  • Kurt

    Look Steve H, here’s the problem with your theory. Yes you bring up a good strategy for negotiating, but that doesn’t work with the Yankees, if it was the Brewers and he wanted to play on the West Coast then he would say I want to play with Milwaukee, which HE HAS! Here’s the problem with the Yankees and saying he wants to play there to get the bidders elsewhere to offer more money. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THE YANKEES WILL BE THE HIGHEST BIDDERS, PERIOD!! If he says he wants to play in New York to get bidding to go up, he could also cause other teams to NOT EVEN BID AT ALL!!! If they think he actually wants to play in New York and New York offers more money, then why even present a contract. Hense why New York will not even present Burnett a contract knowing that one of the other three teams not in TB, from the AL East WILL offer a 5 year deal. If he wants to play in California, how is this not the perfect negotiating ploy? He’s got New York setting a ridiculous bar that if anyone comes underneath it, they will still exceed what everyone thought he would make a year ago! Also, advertising dollars are no stronger in New York then in anywhere else. If you tell me that CC Sabathia needs the Yankees to be a household name, then I’m going to need to buy extra underwear for when I shit myself laughing! The fact is that California is the highest population state in the country, why on God’s green earth would you think that companies could not market him as a Dodger or Giant as easy as they could him as a Yankee? By the way, the three biggest faces in basketball are Greg Oden, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Kobe Bryant for advertising right now… Which endorsement deals are bigger than what those guys have? Specially which deal that a NJ Nets or NY Knicks player has, is bigger than those guys deals? Please don’t bring up Marbury’s wal-mart kicks! As for baseball, I could be mistaken, but aren’t MLB players involved in the least advertisements? The only ad I’ve seen besides the stupid Yankee ads with Jeter and Joba, was with Jaime Moyer and that never stops playing. I’m sorry, but if I had to guess, CC goes to LA for probably <20MM/yr. x 6 with 1 option year.

  • Kurt

    Okay toad, who is to say that in 5 years CC won’t get 30MM a season and like Peavy, Halladay, etc. his deal will be WAY BELOW market because it was too long a term. Could you have predicted 4 years ago that Santana as a SP would make 23MM a year? That’s why he’s making about twice what Halladay is this season. Sorry, but I’d rather sign 5 years and at 33 it’s easier to get a 5 year deal again than it is to get a 4 year deal at 34!

  • Kurt

    check that four biggest names in the NBA… I remembered Dwayne Wade at the end.

  • Kurt

    Another thing the difference between 23.3 and 20 is 3.3, but at that salary you are 50% on your taxes, which means the goverment takes 1.65MM off the top anyways before you calculate the 10% or 15% difference. So forget the cost of living difference also, he can resell his NY place when he retires and he gets the cost of living difference back, especially since I don’t think he’d be keeping the place in Milwaukee either. The real issue is after the government takes out their taxes he’s making 1.4-1.5MM more per season. You ask me what would be my reason to not sign in New York, how about the 1-2 hours it takes to get to the ballpark every day as opposed to smaller cities where it’s 30-45 minutes. Beverly Hills or a beach in Cali to Chavez Ravine is 30-45 minutes, pretty short distance really, New York is far more time consuming to get to the ballpark from where the players like to live, namely NJ, Long Island, etc.

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  • Puck Boy

    HAHA!!! New Yorkers are the most brittle people on earth. Sackman’s analysis was fine, it showed a scenario where CC would choose the Brewers. And that scenario does include him not living with an urge to spend millions on riches in NYC. If CC wants to spend millions on riches and luxury in NYC, well then CC will be a Yankee.

    New Yorkers are ultra sensitive about any thought that someone wouldn’t want to put up with a dirty city, an overpopulated, over congested and a place where it takes an hour each way to get to and from work.

    The fact is, the vast majority of people in this country DON’T live in NYC. Most don’t want to and most won’t ever. It is a unique place, but it is not at all the only place in the US to live and enjoy life as a wealthy person. The entire US has money, there are riches to be had all over the place, only someone that has never left a rat hole and been in the same place his entire life would not realize this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

      “Riches to be had all over the place.”

      Come to Grand Rapids, MI. Riches? This place is a cultural wasteland.

  • toad


    No one knows what CC will be able to get five years from now. Maybe $40 mil. Maybe nothing. I’m suggesting that the logic I outlined is a reasonable way for him to think about it.

    Is it easier to get a five-year deal at 33 than a four-year deal at 35? I don’t know. Do you think the going rate for a top starter will be $40? I doubt it, but maybe. Are you sure CC will still be a top starter?

    Anything can happen. Your guess is as good as mine. I’m just saying that’s the right way to compare the offers.

    • massapequa parking

      good point. average per year doesn’t matter unless the years are equal!! duh

  • massapequa parking

    The value of the free-agent pitchers is based on their availability — NOT on the estimated return for dollar! It’s like the bookies setting a line. Doesn’t mean one team is 3 points better than another, just that a 3-point lay will balance the book. That’s why the money being thrown around for Lowe & Burnett is a sucker bet. Not so for CC due to anticipated inniings. Best best for Yanks: Talk to KC about Meche and DeJesus. Spend less get more; you don’t need these guys, you just need innings.

  • Brooklynmatt

    While I would totally expect CC to end up with the Yanks and I wouldn’t taking credence to anything short of a player saying directly to the press “I don’t want to play in New York,” the tax and cost implications are much more real that the possibility of ad dollars.

    Everyone assumes that any big name player will make big dollars in NY, but it is actually very rare. Last year there wasn’t a single New York athlete in the top 10 athlete endorsement incomes (http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/fortune/0711/gallery.endorsements.fortune/index.html). There was someone from Cleveland (leBron) and someone from Baltimore (Peyton). Of course 5 were golf or Nascar, the other two Shaq and Wade (Miami), but if you want to go to Baseball, Jeter is about the only one cashing in from the big city ($7 M) and that’s about his being New York–the stud dater of the 90s, the rock of 9/11. A Rod’s the better player, probably the best ball player paralleling LeBron and Peyton, but he’s getting $3M (http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/53/4NEA.html). Sure A Rod has marketing issues but so does Sabathia, and if he doesn’t excel they’ll dry up fast.

    The possibility of failure (or mediocrity, just as bad) and the chance of equal endorsement dollars elsewhere (in Cal. or the big fish in a little pond marketing money, see Peyton and Lebron and Favre until now) are why the hard dollars are the only true basis. This still supports New York, when the numbers are $140M vs $100M, but it is ridiculous to say $1M is always $1M more. Cities and states want that tax money and have been know to pursue athletes who claim to live outside a city they sleep in more than any other. Very basically 5% of $20M is $1M, so every 5% higher the tax rate is in NY, that costs him about $1M. Even with good accountants, that’s going to hurt. If his family stays across the country, he may not need the LI manse, but he’ll need a high end Apartment to go with the cost of keeping that across the country house and travelling there with whatever bodyguard types he’ll have. These are the realities of this stratasphere, and saying “too bad for him” doesn’t eliminate it.

    All of that said anything like a $20M difference guaranteed, makes the numbers unbeatable and the union and/or dollar signs would shut down hesitation. But if SF or the Brewers can come closer than that, then the NL may be a true temptation.

  • patrickmacq

    I know the article discusses whether CC was offered enough money or not. But the more important thing is do you really want him for five or six years? CC has really had only two go years in his career (2007, 2008 check his stats). Also his weight should be a concern. He’s getting larger every year. I know David Wells was a big man physically but he stayed consistent and didn’t gain more weight. CC had a 6-8 record with Cleveland before he was traded to the Brewers. Four years max for CC. I think (hope) there will be a time when teams stop giving pitchers long term contracts in general. Look at all the bad contracts in the past (Zito, Hampton, Pedro, Pavano, etc.)
    AJ has been on the DL 10 times in his 10 year career. Give him a five year contract? Yea, o.k.

  • craigmm

    The Brewers offer has money deferred, bringing the actual value closer to $18 million per season and we don’t know if the Yankees offer is $140 or $145 million. This is silly spin by a Milwaukee blog that a Yankee blog irresponsibly is helping to twist and spin.

    The Yankees offer is A LOT more.


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