References for Sabathia’s next contract


(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Barring something completely unforeseen, CC Sabathia will opt out of his contract with the Yankees a few days after the end of the World Series. That doesn’t mean he hates New York or anything like that, it’s just a smart business move on his part. We’d all do the same thing. The Yankees will undoubtedly try to re-sign their ace, though the intensity of their pursuit and the number of other teams that get involved remains to be seen.

Contracts for elite players like Sabathia are difficult to predict because there are so few comparables out there. Sabathia already holds the record for the largest contract ever given to a pitcher, but it’s tough to see him topping the original seven-year, $161M deal he signed prior to the 2009. I see four points of reference for Sabathia’s new contract, at least four “major” points of reference. Let’s recap…

Four-years, $92M

This is what is left on Sabathia’s current contract, the money he is leaving on the table by opting out. Obviously he and his agent believe they can find more than this on the open market (assuming they opt out), and they’re almost certainly right. In a perfect world, CC would just not opt-out and stick around under the terms of his usual agreement, the right amount of years and dollars from the team’s perspective.

Five-years, $120M

When Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees and went back to Philadelphia, this is the guaranteed contract he took from the Phillies. There’s a vesting option for a sixth year, but we’re only concerned about guaranteed dollars at this point in time. Options and buyouts can be manipulated to do anything. I figure the negotiations for Sabathia’s new contract start here, since he’s still younger than Lee was last winter and has a much longer track record of success and durability.

Six-years, $132M

According to Jerry Crasnick, this was the Yankees’ final offer to Lee last winter. Again, this is guaranteed money only. If they were willing to go that far for a guy that hadn’t done anything for them, shouldn’t they be willing to do at least that for a comparable pitcher that’s already helped them win a World Series? I’m sure Sabathia and his agent will play that card, I know I would.

Seven-years, $161M

As I said earlier, this is contract Sabathia is already working under, the largest ever for a pitcher. I can’t imagine he’ll get this many years or this many dollars this time around, but stranger things have happened.

* * *

These are just reference points for Sabathia’s next deal, I’m not saying he’ll get exactly that amount for exactly that many years. I’d love love love if he’d take the five-year, $120M package, but I suspect it’ll end up being closer to the six-year, $132M deal. That’s not based on anything, just a hunch. Who knows, maybe he’ll surprise everyone and stick around. I wouldn’t hold my breath though. Anyway, a post like this is screaming for a poll, so let’s do it.

What would be the largest contract you'd offer Sabathia this offseason?
View Results
Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Jeremy says:

    The shorter the better, I’d rather it be something like 4 years, $110 million than more years and a slightly less AAV.

    • Mike says:

      man . CC has the Yanks by the balls !

      Plus Pass big time on CJ Wilson.

    • nsalem says:

      I guess that’s saying you don’t think he would be worth 11 million dollars per year in year 5 and 6.
      Under the assumption that he would accept 6 for 132.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      As I explain below I disagree. At 6 years $132 mill you’d effectively be getting the last 2 years (35 and 36) for $11 mill each. 35 and 36 years old isn’t that old for an elite starting pitcher. Who knows what happens to CC the next few years and there’s always injury risk, but Roy Halladay is going to be 35 next season and you’re not getting him for 2 years $22 mill if he hit the market right now.

  2. Bartolo's Colon says:

    realistically, who are going to be the yanks biggest competitors for him? there are quite a few teams that could probably make a 5-6 year offer at the numbers above. I don’t doubt that the yanks will eventually get him, but there are going to be alot of teams interested

    • MannyGeee says:

      Rangers, Red Sox, Angels, Cubs will all definately be in the mix…

      Nationals, Jays, A’s, Giants, Dodgers, ‘Stros, Fish, White Sox, Cards could also dip a toe in, but on the outside looking in.

  3. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    You cannot offer him less money than what Lee is making because as you say CC is more durable and to better than Lee. I would offer the 132 for five years with two mutual options for years 6-7.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Durable yes, better no. But CC has his age working for him unlike Lee.

      • Ed says:

        CC will certainly argue he’s better than Lee. CC’s career stat line blows away Lee’s. Lee’s got what, 2 seasons that are better than anything CC’s done? And I think only 1 of them is significantly better than CC’s best.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      You only have to pay CC more than the next team is willing to pay CC. Lee is a point of reference, but not the end-all-be-all of what they have to offer CC.

    • Short Porch says:


      The guy is obese.

      That WILL be a big factor, no matter how much all the couch potatoes may wish that there is some exception.

      Mark my words — C.C. Sabathia, unless somehow he ever gets his weight under control, will do about as much as Bartolo Colon did after 30.

  4. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    I meant that to me CC is better than Lee period. If he opts out the reason he is doing it is because Lee has a better contract.

  5. Ted Nelson says:

    I went with 6 years $132 mill… If you’re going to give him 5 years $120 mill, you are effectively getting the 6th year for $12 mill. He’ll be 36 at that point, but $12 mill isn’t bad for a veteran in the Pettitte (would have been 39 this season), Chris Carpenter (37 next season), Mark Buehrle (only 33 next season, but throws like he’s older) mold… Heck, Roy Halladay is 34 this season and still arguably the best in the game.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      I’d go more than $120 on a 5 year and would certainly entertain some sort of 6th year option if that’s what it took. My preference would be to stay away from a 7th year at almost any cost.

  6. Frank says:

    Same 4 years, raise the pay to 100M- that’s a 25M average salary. Take it or leave it. CC’s good, but not the elite pitcher alot of people make him out to be. Weight, age have to be major concerns moving forward.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      CC Sabathia is not an elite pitcher?

    • MannyGeee says:

      wow. If CC is not an elite pitcher, then why offer him a raise? He’s already making a ton of cash.

      Also, if CC is not an elite pitcher, then who is? To me, ‘elite’ means top 10 in the league.

      Name me 10 better TODAY. I got:
      Cliff Lee
      and I kinda sputter out there…

      • MannyGeee says:


        forgot to add Verlander here.

        • Kosmo says:

          Lincecum, Kershaw and Weaver.

          • CP says:

            CC is better than all of them.

            • Kosmo says:

              I respectfully disagree.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Still puts him 8th on your list, which is still top 10 and pretty freaking elite.

                • Kosmo says:

                  Never said he wasn´t an elite pitcher. Just trying to bring a little perspective. 3rd or 4th best would be considered incremently better than 8th best. No ?

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    The question was whether or not he’s elite.

                    And your “perspective” is simply your opinion on the matter. He had the 2nd highest fWAR among pitchers in 2011 pitching in the hardest division in baseball. That you like Lincecum better “because you say so” doesn’t mean anything.

                    • Short Porch says:

                      The question should be — will he be?

                      Why pay for past performance, especially with a guy post 30 who is obese?

                      what are the chances that years 31-35 will be as good as 26-30? 5% given current conditioning?

                      I’d rather stick $132 million in player development, international scouting/free agents if that were at all possible.

              • CP says:

                Over what time period has any of those pitchers been better than CC? I expect that Kershaw will be better than CC going forward, but there’s nothing to suggest that they have been better in the past. or right now.

                • Kosmo says:

                  I would not consider the statement “there is nothing to suggest that they´ve been better in the past or right now“ an accurate one.

                  • CP says:

                    Do you have any evidence for this belief?

                    Because CC was better than all of them this year (7.1 fWAR vs 6.8 or less for them), over the past 2 years (12.4 vs 11.5 or less), and over any time span longer than that.

                    In fact, the only pitchers that have been better than CC over any time frame are Halladay, Lee, and Verlander (all of them over the past 2-3 years).

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    “Because you say so” huh?

              • vincenzo do says:

                kershaw needs to do it more than one year… and if weaver ever left the AL west he wouldn’t be putting up those numbers

            • Rainbow Connection says:


          • MannyGeee says:

            OK, I will give you Lincecum / Kershaw… but I think CC’s better than Weaver. at least slightly.

            • MannyGeee says:

              correction, I think Lincecum Kershaw are at that level with CC, Doc, Cliff Lee, Felix… ranking them is a story for another day.

            • Kosmo says:

              certainly different approaches to this discussion. CC has had a longer career. Going on the 3 year career of CC in pinstripes, Weaver has a 16.7 WAR to CC 16.2.
              It took CC a number of years to jump above 3.0 WAR per.

  7. Dave B says:

    I’m one of the minority who voted “whatever it takes.” It’s great to be prudent with payroll $, but CC’s production cannot be matched by anyone on the current roster or free agent market. To lose him would be a disaster for the Yankees’ chances next season.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “CC’s production cannot be matched by anyone on the … free agent market.”

      I’m all for re-signing CC, but CJ Wilson certainly could match his production. Yu Darvish also has the potential to (I have almost no knowledge of Japanese baseball, so I don’t really know… just potential to).

      • Dave B says:

        You know you’re right. I checked the 2011 stats and CC and Wilson are basically the same guy comparing IP, K’s, W’s and ERA. Good point.

        I think the only factor that keeps me in the “whatever it takes” camp is that I know CC can perform in NY, and I can’t say the same about Wilson (obviously). Can you imagine if CC goes and Wilson has the added pressure of filling CC’s shoes?

        • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

          You know you’re right. I checked the 2011 stats and CC and Wilson are basically the same guy comparing IP, K’s, W’s and ERA. Good point.

          Don’t forget that CJ put up those numbers in the AL West against Oakland, Seattle and Anaheim while CC put up those numbers in the AL East against the Rays, Jays and Red Sox.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            That’s a factor, but let’s not exaggerate it. Those aren’t the only teams they faced.

            • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

              CJ had 16 starts against the AL West, almost half of his season total, while he only had 7 against the AL East

              CC pitched just 6 games against the AL West (and that includes 3 games vs TEX) and 14 against the AL East.

              No way CJ should replace CC.

              • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

                7 games against the AL West by CC

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Breaking down starts by division is not the way to decide which players to sign…

                Like I said, it’s a factor, but let’s not exaggerate it and make it the deciding factor. I have also said I’m all for re-signing CC. CJ Wilson is a good pitcher, though, who has excelled in two years as a starter. Either one of them could falter going forward. Let’s not act like CC is immune from injury and CJ Wilson is a disaster waiting to happen.

            • CP says:

              Among all starters, CJ Wilson faced the weakest batters in the AL this season. It’s pretty hard to overstate that.

              For reference, CC faced the 10th best batters among AL starters.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                No, it’s not hard to overstate that. Acting like you know what he would have done against harder competition is overstating it. You can make some projections, but you’re not doing that. Just saying, “he faced worse hitters.” That’s good to point out, but it leaves the question of how he’d do against better hitters unanswered.

                And my point was not that CJ Wilson is even as good as CC. Just that he could realistically be expected to replace CC in the rotation if CC insisted on leaving.

                Felix Hernandez pitches in the AL West (granted has to face the Rangers), and lots of NL pitchers are considered elite.

          • Dave B says:

            Totally agree — good pitcher, but stacked up against Sabathia and all the intangibles I am not sure he could match it. I did check his stats against AL East teams and he was very respectable with an ERA in the low 2.00 range.

      • MannyGeee says:

        CJ Wilson should not be in the same conversation as Sabathia. Only as a consolation prize or as a 2nd target.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Because you say so? CJ Wilson has been a very good starting pitcher for two years in a row now.

          • MannyGeee says:

            and CC has been a better pitcher for like 7.

            Or a 49.2 WAR over 11 seasons for CC vs CJs 10.5,
            Or that CC has had 1 season under 4.0 WAR since 2005, and CJ has had only 2 seasons ABOVE that mark in his career
            Or CC lives in the 200.0 IP PLUS range, and CJ has kinda just shown up.

            So not because I say so, but because the facts back it up. I get the fact that CJ Wilson may be the ‘shiny new toy’ in a few short weeks and its easy to get excited about that, but seriously, to compare the two is a little short-sighted, no?

            • Ted Nelson says:

              The conversation is not about their careers to date. It’s about their careers going forward. Past performance gives us an indication of future performance, but in this case it’s clearly an apples and oranges comparison since CJ was a reliever until two seasons ago.

              • MannyGeee says:

                Completely agree, apples to oranges.

                Which is why they should not even be in the same conversation…

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  That their careers to date have been different doesn’t mean they’re not in the same conversation in terms of performance going forward.

          • BK2ATL says:

            You’re seriously comparing CJ Wilson to CC Sabathia???

            C’mon man…just let it go.

            • Dave B says:

              I am astonished that there are as many “whatever it takes” as “let him walk” votes. WTF?

              • Cris Pengiucci says:

                I can understand the “Let him walk” votes, to an extent. Under any circumstance, I would make an offer. However, if he’s not willing to accept what the team’s best offer is, then let him go. I’m not in the “sign him at any cost” camp.

                While some say “if they lose him, they can’t win next year” (which may or may not be accurate), is it essential that they win every year or should they be looking longer term and have some flexibility to sign another top FA, gain a 1st round draft pick, test their internal options or explore the trade market more, perhaps at mid-season when costs are lower? Not saying this is what they should do, but what they could do. I can see both sides of the coin and expect that the Yankees front office has a plan which accounts for many scenarios and has some continuity planning and risk avoidance in it

                • Dave B says:

                  I get that perspective, but if CC were to walk I for one would drop my Fan Confidence rating several ticks, with or without CJ or Yu in the rotation.

                  • Cris Pengiucci says:

                    In the short term, I agree. It could easily pick back up, though.

                  • BK2ATL says:

                    Yeah, my vote would drop from a 7-8 to a 4-5, since not having that true ace in a division with teams like Boston, Tampa and Toronto, and better strategic managers like Showalter and Maddon, would certainly have us destined for the #3 in the AL East.

                    The whole point of paying CC like an ace, is the fact that he is a true ace in the AL East, not the AL or NL West. It appears that he is truly undervalued around here. I hope we don’t get to see what the team really looks like without him in 2012.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              It’s not about career to date. It’s about going forward. CJ has moved himself into the elite starters in MLB. Would I take him over CC? No. If CC walked to make, say, 10 years $500 million somewhere that the Yankees don’t want to match… would I be ok with signing CJ Wilson to a reasonable 5 or maybe 6 year deal? Yes. That’s what the conversation is about: do you sign CC for “whatever it takes” or if “whatever it takes” is unreasonable are their alternatives? I think there are clearly alternatives. Not that I’d sign CJ before CC.

              Read the comments before butting in, so you have some clue of what you’re talking about.

              • MannyGeee says:

                wow… CJ Wilson, Elite Pitcher?

                Is this like saying a New Hyundai is a ‘Luxury Vehicle’ because they are trying to sell it for $50,000? he is a VERY GOOD pitcher, but elite gets thrown around a little too much for my liking…

                • BK2ATL says:

                  Only in a very very weak FA market and apparently on this board could the word “elite” and CJ Wilson be seen together. Reminds me of a similar situation 2 years ago with one John Lackey….

                  • Dave B says:

                    I think we might be splitting hairs, but I think if he continues his trend over the past couple of years (which are extremely close to CC’s stats) you could start moving him into the “elite” category. I think the conversation was moving toward “what would you do if CC walked?” and CJ is clearly a necessity at that point. If you don’t agree he is elite, you have to admit he’s pretty freaking good, and probably a legitimate #1 on most teams that don’t have CC, Verlander, Halladay or one of the other shut down #1′s.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Except that Lackey had been elite several years before hitting free agency and was no longer elite at that point, while CJ Wilson is elite right now.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  He’s had 10.5 fWAR over the past two seasons. Whatever word you want to use to describe that, feel free. That’s “elite” to me. This isn’t an isolated one year Doug Fister (and maybe Fister won’t be anymore after next season either). This is two years of upper-level pitching.

      • Rookie says:

        If it’s CC for $24 million per year or CJ for $18 million per year, I would prefer CJ.

        And if it’s Darvish for $24 million per year adjusted for the posting fee and reduced by the fact that he’d cost the Yankees less luxury tax, I’d take a roll on Darvish.

        Of course there’s a risk that Darvish may turn out to be a bust, but CC’s knees and weight and age make him just as much of a risk to become a bust in my view.

  8. MattG says:

    Whether they sign him or not, I am thinking the way to pitch these days is to have at least eight #3 types in your organization, a great bullpen, and a daring manager. If you have that, you can pitch with anybody, and make the more predictable portion of your roster–the lineup–the part that separates you from the competition.

    There’s nothing wrong with upgrading any of those #3 types, but I would want to have that in place first. So do the Yankees have that? With the exception of the daring manager, they are quite close.

  9. UncleArgyle says:

    I idea of paying a 38 year old pitcher 20 something million dollars a year makes me want to puke. But CC is a very important peice of the current team. Maybe if CC insists on a 7 year deal something reasonable can be worked out. Like say a 7 year 132 million deal, but with a regressive pay scale. Say in years 1-4 he makes $25 mil a year, a salary in line with an elite pitcher. But in year 5 his salary drops to 15 mil, year 6 – 10 mil, year 7 – 7 mil. This way the team is paying for (GASP!) actual currrent production, rather than past production. But who am I kidding. The Steinbrothers will jump in last minute and give CC an 8 year $200 mil contract and I’ll have a heart attack.

    • thenamestsam says:

      People always float the idea of front-loading the contract so that players are paid more closely in line with their skill each year, but I’m pretty sure this is demonstrably worse for the Yankees.

      The time-value of money means that your contract idea is, in real value, larger than paying him equally every year. The only reason it might be preferable is if the Yankees would rather have the extra money later than now and I don’t see any reason to believe that. There’s no reason the Yankee payroll has to be constant every year.

      As an alternate to your contract the Yankees could pay him the same amount every year. The first few years take that extra money, put it in the bank and in the back half they have more than enough to make up the difference between the salaries.

      Front-loading is essentially always worse for the team.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      Well, at least he’s in shape and eats healthy and takes his job seriously. Oh…nevermind.

      • MannyGeee says:

        We get it, you think CC is fat and out of shape. besides the fact that he has to be in at least some sort of shape to get through 200+IP year after year.

        BUT you’re right. he’s morbidly obese.

  10. I says:

    If Texas can gave Lee 7 years, $161M, why CC can’t get more?

    And he is one year younger. That must be 8 years, $184M

    300 win + 10M = 194M + 6M (if pass Nolan)

    = 8 years, 200M

  11. Doc Holliday says:

    Well it’s like I’ve been saying this whole time, don’t let Sabathia dictate anything to the team. The team needs to dictate to Sabathia, keep the current deal or uproot your family again and take less money elsewhere. We’ll move on with CJ and Darvish. And dictate to him that he needs to go on a diet and get under 350 lbs.

  12. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    6 years @150, pass on Wilson develop from within unless a trade opens up for a two or three. If he leaves the Yankees because he’s unhappy than nothing would make him happy. I don’t see him as this type and I believe a deal will get done almost as fast as Cashman’s.

  13. UYF1950 says:

    I’d offer 5 years $120M or ($125M) and a 6th year a vesting option depending on perhaps Cy Young voting or innings pitched. Of course the 6th year would also have to have some sort of voiding if he’s on the DL list at the end of the 5th year of the contract (something similar to Adam Wainwright’s contract with the Cardinals). I would make the 6th year dollar substantial though say $20M.
    I just don’t see many other teams being able to “belly up to the bar” for those types of dollars other then perhaps the Nationals and the Cubs. And if CC truly loves NY and wants to play on a perennial contender he isn’t going to find it on either one of those clubs. That’s just my opinion.

  14. Mike HC says:

    If he wants to stay on the Yankees, he should not opt out. The entire basis of the three year opt out was because he was not sure if he was going to like NY, and that gave him the assurance that he could run for warmer pastures if he hated it here. Everything he has said since then is that he loves it here. He should not opt out and I actually think he will be better off overall if he doesn’t try to squeeze the Yanks for everything he can get. If he wants to leave us, then by all means, opt out.

    As for the poll, I voted for the 5 year deal. I wouldn’t be happy about it, but that would be as far as go.

  15. Soam says:

    CC will end up back with the Yankees, it will be for 7 years 168mil.

    I don’t see anyway he gets a 4-5 year deal, that’s absurd. In a world where AJ Burnett and John Lackey get 5 year deals on the wrong side of 30, I can’t believe there are honestly people out there who think Sabathia is going to have to settle for anything less than 6 years $140m

    • MannyGeee says:

      agreed, he is on a whole ‘nother level from guys who are getting 5 year deals these days… Cliff Lee not withstanding

    • UYF1950 says:

      Soam, there are a several things wrong with your theory on what CC will get from the Yankees.
      First, you bring up AJ and Lackey’s contracts as examples. So you’re comparing 5 year deals for about $82M for both those guys to 5 or 6 years for CC at $120M or $132M per the article. BTW, Lackey was actually younger then CC is now when he signed his contract and AJ just about the same age as CC is now when he signed his contract with the Yankees.
      Second, both the Red Sox and the Yankees probably regret to high heaven the contract of those 2 players.
      Third, in order for CC to extort the types of dollars and years you are suggesting from the Yankees, the Yankees have to be willing to go that long and for that much money. And to be honest it makes no sense since the original contract CC signed with the Yankees he was younger and it was for less money.
      Fourth, there has to be at least one other team willing to offer those types of years and dollars or at least something close to those.
      And this year I just don’t see that as in the cards. Phillies are out, the Red Sox are out and way to dysfunctional right now. The Angels have 2 star pitchers they are going to have to resign in the next year or 2. The Dodgers and Mets don’t have 2 nickels to rub together. The Giants have a bunch of FA they have to worry about themselves in the next year or 2 plus offense is their need. The Rangers ownership has already put to bed their interest in signing CC to those types of years and money. That really only leaves the Cubs and Nationals as even remote possible landing spots for CC for those types of dollars and years. And 2 reasons I don’t see CC going to either one of those places is CC has expressed a desire to play for a winner and perennial playoff team neither the Cubs or the Nationals would fit that bill for at least the next couple of years if not more. Also I don’t see either team going out 7 years for a pitcher that will turn 32 midway through the 2012 season.
      I think 5 years at the right dollars is going to be enough maybe 6 years if it’s some sort of “easy” vesting option. That’s just my opinion.

      • nsalem says:

        Red Sox and Rangers will be in on Sabathia.

        • YanksFan says:

          Rangers will be in on CC but not at those levels.

          I don’t see the Sox being in it at all. I think that is a MSM narrative like the NYY are in on everyone. Their p/r this year was 163 & according to COTS is 126 for next year. That does not include arb raises (biggest being Ellsbury). That adds, what 5M bringing their total to 131. Leaves them 32M to play with & have the same payroll. They also have to replace Ortiz, Drew & Paps. I don’t see it.

          • nsalem says:

            They may still replace Paps with Bard. They may stick with Reddick or Kalish in right and Ortiz’ productions could probably be closely replicated to the 12 million he (Ortiz) may dream he is worth. That should leave them money to find a front line pitcher. They are under more pressure than we can ever dream of. They have lots of work to do, increased competition in the AL East next year and this will make 3 years out of the playoffs if they have another bad year. My heart bleeds for them.

            • MannyGeee says:

              slightly off topic, but I got a feeling they might be in on Andruw to fill in as a RF/DH option for a year until they can get in on the 2013 outfield FA frenzy.

            • YanksFan says:

              Bard replaces Paps, who replaces Bard? Their BP sucked & they’re losing their best Reliever in this scenario. They need to spend money there. If they get Papi for 12, that means they have to increase their payroll to accomodate CC. My use of 5M for arb. raises may also be low.

        • Rookie says:

          I don’t think the Red Sox will be in on Sabathia — although I certainly expect them to pretend to be in on him — because they don’t want to trigger luxury tax payments and they shot their wad last year.

          If they could unload all of Lackey’s salary, maybe they could be in on him. But I think that’s unlikely.

      • I says:

        I’m sure when he mention AJ and Lackey, just mean they suck but still get paid very well.

    • I says:

      Right, why people just don’t get it. lol

      That’s call “market value”

      If the market generally overpaid the pitcher, we had to paid it either, Just like we overpaid the closer. It seems like people have no problem when Yankees overpaid MO (still, Mo will take a hit no matter the reason if he leave)

      CC doing well this year, so Yankees has no reason cut his salary, he didn’t build much legacy here, that’s why Yankees won’t offend him public because he can go anywhere, this contract negotiations will be smooth and boring, though CC and Arod are similar person, but he already proved that he is not a target anyway.

      Pujols’s contract situation is more interesting.

  16. Pete says:

    5 years 120 million. I agree with Mike HC, the optout was not not meant to be another payday.

  17. Jesse says:

    Five years, $120M is as high as I’ll go. I only care about the years on his contract with him getting older, the mileage on his arm, and his weight.

  18. noseeum says:

    I’d start the bidding at 5 years/$125 and let him know additional years will result in a drop in AAV. Give him one more year and a raise. It’s a fine offer that let’s him know they want him. Now go out to the market, find something better, and get back to us.

  19. nsalem says:

    One of the elements of the opt-out was meant to give CC another opportunity at a payday. The Yankee’s knew this going in. If CC had under performed this wouldn’t even be an issue. You might not like it, you might not think he’s worth the money, but it’s not arguable that the opt out is there for the potential of the player to get another free agent opportunity at a still relatively young age.

  20. Doug says:

    Gonna be 6/138. Years are our Cliff Lee offer. Dollars equate to his current annual salary.

  21. BK2ATL says:

    If I’m Cashman, I’d play this 2 ways. I’d go to CC directly and tell him that he is the ace on this staff as long as he wishes to be, but this contract has to be a fair one.

    CC is now 31 years old. He knows how to pitch now, which makes me think that he’ll know how to pitch when he isn’t lighting up the radar gun in 5 years. The weight thing, we’ve been here before. If he turns into what a certain lefty named David Wells, who was productive deep into his late 30s for us, I’d be more than okay with that. If CC is putting up a 3-4.5 WAR at 37 making $12-15 mil/yr at that time, then this deal will be a steal.

    I’d go 6 yr, $136 million route for CC, with declining annual salary scale. CC is a bonafide ace who leads pitching staffs and carries teams. Lee doesn’t do that, he just pitches. Halladay does, as well, if you’re making comparisons.

    In a perfect world, it would be wonderful to have CC around to mentor Darvish, Betances, and Banuelos in the near future. Like Mariano in the bullpen, this is very valuable, if understated value.

  22. Kosmo says:

    Ya 6 yrs 132 mil sounds about right.

  23. mt says:

    Would give 5 yrs at $125 definitely (limit $130 million). I would add a reasonable innings vesting for an additional $22 million and a harder vesting test (possibly include Cy Young voting) for an additional $18 million in seventh year. If this innings limit vesting were agreeeabe, I would avoid weight clauses, which will probably be contentious with CC. (I would love to do weight clauses but CC will probably fight them)

    If CC insists on six years with no innings vesting, I might do at 6 years at 144 million (in effect sixth year at a discount given I was willing to do 5 years at $130) as long as there was a weight clause for fifth and sixth year. If six years guaranteed with no innings limit or weight clauses is the only way to get deal done, I would only do 6 years at $135-$137 or so. Guaranteeed years must be traded for AAV. 7 years fully guaranteed with no restrictions is a non-starter.

    If Cc walks, would avoid CJ (do not want to pay him as a # and instead I’d 1) sign Darvish, 2) trade for Danks’s one year remaining (no Banuelos, Betances, Montero but may have to overpay with other prospects), and 3) sign Garcia again for 1 year (may have to overpay a little to get him certainly in fold).

    If CC stays, I would still try to trade for Danks.

    Yanks should not be beholden to their supposed offer to Lee

    1) things change – Yanks may have been willing to overpay Lee last year to ensure two #1s or, if CC left, to ensure at least one #1. Strangely enough, a year later, Yanks may be willing to pay CC less than Lee offer – they may prefer Lee’s body type and may feel that ensuring at elast one #1 is not as easy as paying Lee an extra $5-10 million last year.

    2)also yanks should not be held to offer – they made other moves or there have been other developments since Lee offer – Yanks pitchers in farm are a year older, they overpaid Soriano to have a crack bullpen (some of excess targeted for Lee was drained off, in other words), they may have more concerns with long-range Arod/Tex contracts – all these can and should have an impact on their CC offer.

    I think the 5 years at $120 actually given to Lee is a valid comparison and I am sure they will have to exceed.

    From a contract/other teams bidding standpoint, the fact the opt-out was only given for CC to use if he hated NY is irrelevant. It is his right to exercise no matter what the discussed reason. Yanks are big boys and shopuld have realized this could happen. HOWEVER, if Yanks do not want to go to “whatever CC wants” level because they feel they had an understanding that he would not use it for more money/years, that is their choice as his employer to affect their own new offer to CC.

    • I says:

      It’s CC hold the all* advantage, NOT the Yankees. They will give him whatever he want. Because they are too fear to lost him.

  24. Gonzo says:

    This will certainly be interesting. I can’t imagine him leaving, but I also can’t see Cashman overpaying (too much) for sentimentality’s sake.

    This is going to sound crazy, but I am ok if he goes elsewhere is re-signed.

  25. Rainbow Connection says:

    I’m ok if he goes somewhere else. As a fan, it just feels ‘icky’ to spend so much all the time. AND when they lose, it’s even worse. Embarrassing. Let the kids play.

  26. UYF1950 says:

    I guess we will see very soon how this plays out at least for the Yankees. CC has to opt-out if he is going to 3 days after the last out of the World Series. Then I believe there is a 5 day exclusive negotiating period for the players current team. If CC doesn’t sign during that exclusive period in my opinion he won’t sign with the Yankees. I say that because there is then more going on with CC then his love of NY or playing for the Yankees or even a very good payday. If that’s the case I say it’s time to move on for the Yankees and go “balls to the wall” for a replacement. Whether it’s a trade or something else, time to move on. Just my opinion.

    • nsalem says:

      The only thing this is probably about is a very good payday. Whether you personally feel it’s right or wrong.

      • UYF1950 says:

        Personally I have NO feeling one way or another about what might motivate CC to opt-out if he chooses to do so. I’m only sharing my opinion on what I think is a reasonable offer the Yankees might want to make for his services. If he finds it acceptable fine, if he doesn’t that’s fine as well. Just time to move on and not do what the Yankees did with the Lee negotiations. Wait, wait and wait some more. While I’m sure many on this site feel CC holds all the cards I’m not convinced that the Yankees have that bad of a hand. The only other thing I would say in regard to CC’s hand. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. With that I’ve said just about all I can or intend to say here.

        • nsalem says:

          That’s fine and I’m not trying to argue. It’s just that you said if he doesn’t want to sign right away there is more going on than money. I’m just curious as to what you think the more might be.

          • UYF1950 says:

            Could be family dynamics, could be a desire to live on the west coast where he still has ties, could be a desire to be the “top dog” on the team. Which for regardless how important CC is to the Yankees he is not the “top dog”. I just don’t think money will be the issue if he doesn’t sign. Like I said previously here. I just do NOT see any other team “bellying up to the bar” the kind of money the Yankees will offer him. Is it possible some other team might sure. But I just don’t see it.

            Earlier you brought up the possibility of Bard replacing Papelbon as a way for the Sox to save money. Do you honestly believe that? Bard’s not ready, he’s not even close. Have you looked at his record. As for your earlier comment also about Reddick and Kalish. Reddick is probably going to replace Drew and Kalish has had neck surgery. As for replacing Ortiz I guess that’s a possibility but again you think a 30 HR, 100 RBI guy even as a DH it’s not that easy to replace. Even if you can replace him what are the Sox going to save $5M a year if that. I’ve done a very careful analysis of the estimated 2012 Sox payroll and factoring in some numbers for arbitration awards and new contracts kicking in and them resigning both Papelbon and Ortiz which I think they have to, their 2012 WITHOUT CC is going to come in at about $175 to $180M. That’s assuming a #3 or #4 starter to replace Dice K who is out because of Tommy John Surgery. And that still only gives the Sox 4 viable starters (Lester, Beckett, Dice K’s replacement, Buchholz and ????) and that’s assuming Buchholz and Beckett can stay healthy for once. Add CC to that equation and the Sox could be looking at a payroll of $190M plus, plus. And considering the Red Sox have always used the Luxury Tax ceiling of $170M as their payroll ceiling I just don’t see the Sox in on CC if he opts-out. I could be totally wrong or I could be pretty darn close. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    • I says:

      If CC doesn’t sign during that exclusive period….Yankees will pay him more money, and beg him come back.

  27. Gonzo says:

    I was just toying around with some stats. I found something interesting, or not depending on your tastes. I am not using this as a definitive argurment for one pitcher over another. This is just an observation. I used Cot’s so sorry if I missed something obvious.

    Of all starting pitchers to sign a contract with an AAV over $12mm, only 3 had never had a SO/BB ov 3.0 or higher. That’s out of 23 pitchers.

    Those three pitchers are Mike Hampton ($121mm), Barry Zito ($126mm), and Carlos Zambrano ($91.5mm). Even AJ (one season at 3.03) and Lackey (two at 3.44 & 3.25) squeezed in at least one before signing their contracts.

    CJ Wilson, even as a reliever, has never recorded a season where his has had a SO/BB rate higher than 3.0.*

    I am not saying he won’t, or would be a bad signing, just that it is a cool stat. There will always be exceptions, and I know that. I also know it’s an arbitrary cut-off for a stat.

    • Hardy says:

      Yes, that is a very good point. The big question with Wilson is whether you believe his success with limiting his HR/FB rate from 2009-2011 is sustainable for him

  28. Hardy says:

    I think there are two reasonable Final offers:

    1) 6/148. That makes CC the highest paid pitcher in the Game but remains under 25/year.
    2) 7/161. His old contract.

    • Todd says:

      No and No. When is it enough? This is real life not some lets see how high we can get it.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        In real life he will probably get one of those offers. In real life Cliff Lee had the chance to earn $161 million in one contract offered him by the Rangers.

  29. duzzi23 says:

    It’s amazing the 161 million he originally signed here for isn’t enough for CC. What a greedy fat fuck. That opt out was given just in case he didn’t like living here on the east coast or playing for the Yankees if i remember correctly. Since he claims he loves it here and his family lives in Jersey year round why opt out?

  30. Todd says:

    Even as a big Yankees fan, CC has a lot of nerve with even considering opting out with the weight he has gained this season. If 4 years 92 million isn’t enough let him walk. Enough is enough and with these heavy guys (Fielder, Cabrera) don’t give them long term deals when weight will be a bigger issue later on. Obviously paying the most hasn’t gotten them very far every year but on the occasion they do they justify the cost.

    • JohnC says:

      If you had that option, you honestly would not use it to get a better contract? Cmon!

      • Todd says:

        No I wouldn’t because that would be enough to “get by” and the additional money could get other free agents to win. But lets not forget its never primarily about winning, that is a misconception that players have been putting out for decades. Always about the money so when all these great players from small market teams talk about winning guess where they end up on their next contract & then watch their production (ex. Crawford) Less pay actually makes them try harder.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          The organization would throw you under the bus if you didn’t perform and they had the chance, but you’d screw yourself out of loyalty? That’s called being a sucker.

  31. BK2ATL says:

    I really don’t get why everyone’s harping on CC’s weight. He’s ALWAYS been a big guy, even bigger than as a Yankee.

    Strangely enough, he’s always been athletic and probably still plays b-ball. He can flat-out pitch on the mound. The weight didn’t seem to affect his pitching anymore than Girardi’s moronic 6 man rotation.

    As I’ve seen stated, the weight is a non-factor for CC and the Yankees brass. I swear people come up with all kinds of craziness on these board.

    To those who say let him walk, the prospect of AJ Burnett as our ace….I’ll pass.

    • Todd says:

      The irrational speak comes out as I expected. How is weight not a concern when you could obviously do better (which you’re paid to do)? You remember a guy named Shaq and his last few years and what he was making? Be realistic don’t just say AJ is the Ace then. The nice thing about the Yankees there is always other options if CC is going to be a D.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      You can determine how much weight impacted CC’s performance relative to a 6-man rotation? How in the hell can you do that? You must be very rich as a consultant to MLB teams.

      Saying that being overweight negatively impacts athletic performance is “craziness???” That the hell are you on?

      Burnett is going to be the ace? Nova is already better than Burnett and there are other pitchers in the world. Saying Burnett would be their new ace (unless he miraculously recovered and had a great season) is ridiculous.

  32. PortlandYankee says:

    I would think more like 5/$125 is the best deal the Yankees can hope for. I certainly hope we don’t see a 6th year, unless it’s a vesting option.

  33. William says:

    I hope that CC stays with the Yankees and does not go any where else but the Yankees. He is the number one starter that they have and it will a bad thing for the Yankees to lose him.

  34. Mike says:

    Before giving CC a new deal, Yankees have to think about whether CC is really the ACE Yankees need, and what is his ERA when against the tough teams? what is his ERA when against tough RHs. What is his ERA when against the hitters with batting average >= 0.300, How many games can he win in the post seasons, especially in ALCS and WS? etc. Think about those questions in a serious way, please. I like CC, but everything has to be reasonable.

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