Heyman: Angels were close on CC


When the Yankees and CC conducted their winter dance in December, rumors were flying left and right. Joe and Mike covered the Winter Meetings in Vegas for RAB, and I was home studying for finals. To relive the madness, check out the archives here and here.

When Sabathia finally signed his eight-year, $160-million deal with the Yanks, it was unclear who else was in on the bidding. We knew that the Angels and Giants had expressed some interest, but the only other rumored offer was one for six years and $110-$120 million from the Brewers.

As the early days in December wore on, a few stories emerged. Supposedly, the Giants were interested but never made an offer. The Angels were also rumored to be in on the negotiations, but the team shot those stories down. In fact, the Yankees were rumored to be confident that neither the Angels nor Giants would approach $140 million. They wanted to blow away Sabathia, and more than a few fans thought they were overpaying and outbidding themselves for the big man’s services.

Late on Saturday though Jon Heyman added a unique twist to the story, nearly six months later. He reported via Twitter: “very late scoop — turns out the angels made a $140-million offer to CC. so yanks were wise to go from 140 to 161 mil.”

That’s quite the rub. A lot of Yankee analysts and fans pushed the line that Sabathia didn’t want to play in New York, that his heart lay on the West Coast and that he would return as soon as he could. The presence of an Angels’ offer that was fairly competitive with the Yankee offer would seemingly dispel that notion. He could have turned down that extra money for the chance to pitch in Southern California.

In the end, we now know why the Yankees went so high with their final bid: They had a competitor with the financial resources to give them a run for their money. They wanted their prize, and they went for it. The Yankees probably didn’t know what the Angels’ top offer was, but they knew they had to stay one step ahead.

So when Sabathia takes the mound in a few hours, Yankee fans should be ever grateful that CC is in the Bronx and not in Anaheim. While I always assumed Sabathia would take the Yanks’ money, perhaps it wasn’t as sure a bet as I thought it to be.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • Hobbes

    quote: They wanted to blow Sabathia,


    • Spaceman.Spiff

      Haha, good catch.

    • Yankeegirl49

      LOL, that was what stood out in my mind as I read this!

    • Matty matt


    • Ross

      Greatest typo in RAB history.

  • Willy

    No wonder CC signed with us…

  • mustang

    “Yankee fans should be ever grateful that CC is in the Bronx and not in Anaheim”

    I show my gratefulness every-time I sit on my overpriced seat enjoying my overpriced food.

    • Accent Shallow

      Somehow, I’m sure your seat and food would be just as overpriced if Sabathia was wearing a Halos jersey and the Yanks didn’t add payroll from last year.

      • mustang

        I’m sure but the point is that Yankees fans everywhere pay a prime price to give the Yankees organization the ability to buy players like CC. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy that he is here, but we all pay a price for it.

        • Mike Axisa

          It comes with the territory, supply and demand. They charge those prices because people are willing to pay them. The payroll has nothing to do with the ticket prices.

          • mustang

            But doesn’t it make it easier to have a 200 million dollar payroll when your getting $2500 for a seat?

            “The payroll has nothing to do with the ticket prices.”
            So they should of kept the ticket price where they were then.
            I’m sure if the net worth of the Yankees took a big enough hit they would cut payroll.
            Their primary goal after all is to make money.

            • V

              They priced tickets to where (they perceive) they can maximize revenue.

              The marginal cost of a new seat sold is near nil, so that additional revenue is purely profit.

              The only reason they will lower prices is if they perceive they can maximize revenues by lowering prices.

              The payroll is there to maximize the product on the field, and yes, if the Steinbrenners took a huge financial hit, the payroll would probably be lowered. But that has nothing to do with seat prices. None.

            • Hobbes

              should have

    • Greg F.

      My tickets actually went down from $27 last season to $25 this season. If you’re willing to sit in the grandstand, I don’t think your complaint is valid.

      • mustang

        Your one of the lucky ones and I’m not complaining if i hated it that much I wouldn’t pay for it. As so many people have thus the empty seats. All I’m saying is that I ( We) pay something for the product that’s on the field.
        Yankees fans are grateful to CC 160 million times over.

  • mustang

    “The presence of an Angels’ offer that was fairly competitive with the Yankee offer would seemingly dispel that notion”

    There was a 20 million dollar difference how is that “fairly competitive”. And how does that dispel that notion? He came to NY because they gave him more money and an out after 3 years the end.

    • V

      Players have turned down offers over 13% differences before, particularly to play where they prefer to play.

      Watch Pujols – odds are, he’ll take a 40% (at least) pay cut to stay in St. Louis for the rest of his career.

      • mustang

        I understand your point, but i would love to see the list of players who took that kind of a hit.
        I can’t even think of one of the top.

        • NaOH

          If no one comes to mind for you, than you’re probably too young to remember Greg Maddux taking $28mm from the Braves in 1992 instead of the $34 the Yankees offered.

          • Benjamin Kabak

            Or Tim Wakefield’s perpetual $4 million deal with Boston. He could have gotten more from another team a long time ago.

            • mustang

              Ok that’s 2 maybe out of all the free agents who got offer more money to play in place that they might not love. Statistically that’s a small percentage so far.

              • Benjamin Kabak

                It would be virtually impossible to know or list all of them. Most offers are public, and no one other than the players and their agents know what goes on during the negotiations. I’m sure there have been in the recent history of baseball far more than two players who have taken less money to sign with a team they prefer.

                • mustang

                  Not only less, but 13 % less. I doubt that there were that many.

                • Benjamin Kabak

                  You’re talking about 13 percent as though it’s a lot. It’s only a lot when you’re in the Sabathia range. Generally, 13 percent isn’t that much.

                  For example an offer 13 percent more than $8 million is $9.04 million. At that point, it’s pretty easy to see why a player may turn down the higher offer if they don’t want to play somewhere. While Jake Peavy’s situation isn’t exactly analogous, his rejection of the White Sox trade can serve as something of an example.

                • steve (different one)

                  i disagree. if the White Sox would have picked up his option, he would have accepted the trade.

                  therefore: more money >> comfort.

                  otherwise, he stood the make the exact same amount in SD or in Chicago.

                • mustang

                  Yes but Peavy would of probably asked to rework the deal. Doesn’t a player trade during the middle of contract become a free-agent at the end of the season os something?

                  But I see your point.

                • Benjamin Kabak

                  Doesn’t a player trade during the middle of contract become a free-agent at the end of the season os something?

                  Out of curiosity, from where did you pick this up? Players are under contract. When they’re traded, their entire contracts are traded and are still valid. If Peavy were to approve the trade, he and his contract would go to Chicago and he wouldn’t be a free agent until his contract is over.

                • Joseph Pawlikowski

                  If you’re traded at some point in a multi-year deal (not sure where the cutoff is), you can demand a trade after one season with your new team. Javy Vazquez did this with the D’Backs.

                • NaOH

                  I don’t know if the rule is still in place, but it used to be that a player traded in the middle of a multiyear deal had the right to formally request a trade. If a deal was not completed by a certain time, the player had the option to choose free agency.

                  Since I know you’re old enough to remember the Yankees courting Maddux, you should have remembered Cecil Fielder trying this tactic in the Spring of ’97. The Yankees made no real effort to trade him, and Fielder rescinded his request and stayed with the team rather than forfeit his (then huge) $7.2mm salary. Also for reference, that was then the highest-ever salary for a Yankees player.

                • mustang

                  “Also, a player with five years of service time who is traded in the middle of a multi-year contract may demand another trade prior to the start of the season following the one in which he was traded.”

                  This is what I was talking about. I just didn’t remember all of it my bag.

                • mustang

                  “Also, a player with five years of service time who is traded in the middle of a multi-year contract may demand another trade prior to the start of the season following the one in which he was traded.”

                  This is what I was talking about. I just didn’t remember all of it my bag.

                • NaOH

                  Vasquez did not use this rule when asking the Diamondbacks to trade him. His was the “I’d rather not play here” type of trade request. Said his agent: “This isn’t a demand. It’s simply a respectful request to satisfy his desire to be closer to home.”

                  As the NY Times article then noted, “Just because Vazquez requested a trade does not mean that the Diamondbacks have to move him.”

              • NaOH

                While not exactly the same, don’t forget all the young players who take the security of a large contract and, in the process, give up free agency years. Obviously, it’s not truly the same, but the money declined is significant. If I understand correctly when Longoria could be a free agent, he’ll instead be under three team options which will total only $30 mm if exercised. At worst I should only be off by a year, in which case he’s under two team options worth “only” $22.5mm.

            • mustang

              And your tell me that Wakefield would of turn down a 13% differences in pay.

              • Benjamin Kabak

                Yes. Because I’m fairly confident than Tim Wakefield could have gotten $4.52 million from some other team.

                • mustang

                  Your right the difference is smaller then CC.

          • mustang

            Too young oh God my NaOH thank you. I remember that like its was yesterday and I’m still mad at Maddux for using Gene Michael the way he did.
            Yes that’s one your right.

            • NaOH

              I’m not sure Maddux used Michael/the Yankees so much as a) I think he wanted to be in the NL and B) remember the Yankees were coming off an awful performance in 1991 which was their second consecutive year of 90+ losses while the Braves had just had back-to-back pennants.

              You’ll appreciate this Gene Michael quote from the time:

              “This one hurts,” said Gene Michael, the general manager of the Yankees, who did manage to trade for Jim Abbott on Sunday. “He’s the best one out there. I never thought I could say this. But he’s a steal at $28 million. He’s a steal.”

              Maddux was only 26 and would end up winning another 260 regular season games.

              • mustang

                I read the quote before. It made it that much sweeter watching Maddux lose game six in 1996.

  • carl

    He was getting that opt-out in every contract.

    • mustang


  • Scooter

    The Cashman Bashing Squad must be a little sad today.

    • Mike Axisa

      It’s okay, they’ll just move on to trading for Nady instead of Bay.

      • CP3

        Do you think that the same package for nady would be able to get bay?

        • V


  • yankees=warriors

    Anyone wants to review Papelbum’s phychal breakdown last night?

    • yankees=warriors


      • Accent Shallow

        You know, I was going to say something smug here, like “You know, ‘psychal’ is not actually a word,” but according to, it means “of or pertaining to the soul.”

        Bravo for raising the level of discourse around here.

  • Reggie C.

    IF CC had taken the Angels’ offer , i think its fair to presume that the Yanks would’ve parked the money truck in Derek Lowe’s front yard. Different leagues aside, I think Lowe is a dark horse Cy candidate in the NL. At the very least Lowe’s proven to be far more consistent than AJ Burnett.

    So that’s my 2 cents.

    • JackC

      All that may be true, but you’re forgetting all the games the Yanks will gain by not having to face Burnett, where he inevitably forgot he was pitcher with 4 + era and labored under the delusion he was Christy Mathewson :)

    • steve (different one)

      sure, but they probably would have signed Lowe AND Burnett.

  • Januz

    This bit of news (If true), shows just how Cashman was BOTH lucky and good. He was very lucky that he was able to get Sabathia signed, because of his refusal to trade Phil Hughes in a Santana package, because of his belief he could get CC signed. If CC would have went to the Angels, this would have likely have cost him his job, there would be so much anger at him. He was good, because he not only got CC signed, but he got Tex without having to give him an opt-out clause.
    When all is said and done, CC and Santana are essentially a wash, so it is Tex and keeping Hughes for two draft picks (To LA and Milwaukee). Not a bad trade-off.

  • steve (different one)

    wait, this is impossible, since we on the internet are privvy to every single FO conversation and therefore we can judge that the yankees overpaid.

    • Mike Pop

      Fuckin’ Cashman.

      All he is good at is throwing money around, can’t do another gosh darn thing.

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