Yanks prepared to offer Sabathia a six-year extension


(Nick Laham/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia has every reason to void the remaining four years and $92 million on his contract. While that’s the most money any player will have ever left on the table, there is a 100 percent chance he’ll exceed that total, in both years and dollars, on the open market. But that won’t stop the Yankees from trying to prevent his impending free agency.

According to a New York Post report, the Yankees are currently preparing an offer, or a series of offers, intended to retain Sabathia before his opt-out date arrives. Their idea consists of a five- or six-year deal with a raise over Sabathia’s current $23 million annual salary. That sounds like a reasonable offer, and there’s definitely a chance Sabathia could accept.

Chances are the six-year offer is the only one that gets it done. Six years at $24 million per season totals $144 million, which exceeds the offer the Yankees made for Cliff Lee last offseason. That’s fair, given how much Sabathia has contributed to the Yankees in the last three years. They can even bump that up to $145 million, thereby exceeding Lee’s record $24 million annual salary. A five-year deal would certainly have to come in at around $125 million, and would include at least one option.

The Yankees stand to learn plenty with such lucrative offers. If Sabathia accepts, then he was true to his word about enjoying New York and his declarations of, “I’m not going anywhere.” If he declines a six-year deal worth $140 to $145 million, then the Yankees have to question Sabathia’s intentions. Again, $145 million over six years would give Sabathia the highest average annual value of any pitcher contract in history, to go along with his highest gross total of $161 million. Should he decline such an offer, he’s signaling that he would consider an offer from another team that, in all likelihood, wouldn’t constitute much more than a marginal increase over the Yankees’ offer.

Even so, a six-year offer to a 31-year-old pitcher might seem like a lot. But consider that 1) the Yankees made a six-year offer to Lee last off-season, 2) there is no pitcher on the market who matches Sabathia’s abilities, and 3) Sabathia’s importance to the team’s success the past three seasons. For instance, he has averaged 34 starts and 235 innings per season with the Yankees. In the three years before Sabathia arrived the Yankees had six pitchers reach 200 innings, but none eclipsed 218 in any season. Also, none had an ERA within 15 points of Sabathia’s average 3.18 ERA. That is, he’s been a consistently top-notch workhorse. That’s the type of pitcher the Yankees can pay a premium for.

Without Sabathia in 2012, the Yankees would be in quite a bind. They’d absolutely have to go after C.J. Wilson, and Wilson simply isn’t as good as Sabathia. Even when you factor in the contract Wilson would require, Sabathia seems like the better value. The Yankees recognize this, and will prepare an offer that appears difficult to refuse. If you truly liked pitching somewhere and they offered you a six-year deal that paid you more per year than any pitcher in history, wouldn’t you take it?

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Virginia says:

    Offer him a million dollars for every pound he loses as incentive. If he’s going to be here for so long, he better start taking care of his body.

    • jay destro says:

      how about your boss tells you to do the same? get over the weight thing. it’s a petty complaint.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        Not quite so petty for someone that will be paid $25 mil/year to use that body. I’m sure the comment was made somewhat in jest, but he certainly needs to take care of his body, whatever that means to him and the team.

        • jay destro says:

          CC Sabathia takes great care, his weight is an obvious factor in his body type. He’s a freak of nature type of guy who simply is a large guy. You deal with it as part of the whole package, which is in a whole, pretty great.

          • Adam says:

            I mean the weight issue is a legitimate point, he has been so horrible pitching for the Yanks these last few years. *rolls eyes*

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Not that there’s any proof that it’s right, but the theory has to do with the future and not the past. Your comment misses the point and creates a strawman out of a fairly legitimate theory.

            • Cris Pengiucci says:

              Yeah, we’re all experts here with intimate knowledge of what’s going on with CC during the course of a grueling season. I mean we all just know that if he lost, say 15 or 20 lbs. that he’d suck and that it wouldn’t allow him to pitch better in September or October.

              Point is, we don’t know. We’re speculating. There’s nothing wrong with joking (or half-joking, if you will) that an extra mil (or mil per pound) in incentives is something the Yankees should consider. Saying “his weight is an obvious factor in his body type”, while true, doesn’t mean that what worked for him in the past will continue to work in the future, especially as he moves into his mid-thirties and beyond. His weight is something he and the Yankees need to look at and determine the best course of action on.

              • Adam says:

                I don’t disagree, especially with your ultimate point. But I also don’t think that a contract clause is the way to go about it.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  If you’re the Yankees, what control do you have after he’s signed a guaranteed contract? Now is when they have the most leverage.

                  • Slugger27 says:

                    it just seems hard to monitor. do they ahve the guy get on a scale before every regular season game and report what it says? do they weigh him randomly in the offseason by showing up unannounced?

                    not to mention, putting it in a contract seems insulting.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I’m not talking about weight, but body mass index. And it would be at pre-agreed upon intervals: spring training, all-star break, end of season… whatever.

                      You would be insulted if your employer offered you more money to do something important to performing your job? I would not be. It’s basically like students getting paid to do their homework.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      CC has said himself that he wanted to lose weight last off-season (and did so), so I don’t see why he’d be insulted.

                  • Rich says:

                    Agree–if you’re gonna pay the man a guaranteed salary of 25M You should be able to tell him he has to stay in shape to earn it!!

                    • Peter says:

                      Agreed. Or make him pay the insurance policy for when his knees fail and he can’t pitch at 35. Does the team get any kind of opt-out or do they just pay and pay?

          • Cris Pengiucci says:

            As I stated,, “whatever that means to him and the team”. The comment was somewhat in jest. He and the team know what he needs to do. We do not. We can only see what he has done up to this point. That may or may not be an indication of what he is capable of in the future if he maintains his current conditioning regimen. He and the team are in a better position to ascertain that.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            CC reportedly worked hard last off-season to lose weight. While that supports your point that he does try to take care of himself, it hurts your laissez-faire/defensive attitude about his weight. He wants to lose weight himself apparently.

            I certainly don’t think it’s a big problem yet, but I do think it’s something he and the Yankees should monitor. And tying something into his contract could be the best way to motivate him. Not just $ per pound, but perhaps incentives for keeping body fat low or penalties for it getting high.

            • Adam says:

              He is a professional, and should be expected to take care of himself as best as possible (which presumably despite his size, he does). Wouldn’t a clause such as that be kind of a slap in the face to CC who has done nothing to necessitate such monitoring? By all accounts CC is a leader on the team, if the Yankees didn’t trust him to take care of himself as necessary then they really would not be interested in signing him for the long term and for so much money–the same could be said for the original contract. Nothing has changed in those three years. This does perhaps hit on a social fascination with weight rather than health. All things considered Sabathia has been a healthy pitcher throughout most of his career. CC is a big dude, that is just who he is. The thought of putting restrictions in his contract similar to someone like Carlos Lee seems a little unfair.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                It’s not a personal affront on the man. And it really doesn’t matter whether or not the Yankees “trust” him. It’s a matter of aligning the incentives of an employee with those of the organization. Same thing a manager should be doing in any business.

                And incentiving him doesn’t have to mean a slap on the wrist. It can mean a reward. Tell him that we’ll pay you X, and if you keep your body fat as a reasonable rate we’ll pay you even more than X. I think all athletes should have far more incentive laden deals (for performance more than weight or whatever else), but clearly they have the negotiating leverage that they largely don’t have to.

                • Adam says:

                  Inherently I do not necessarily think it is a personal affront…however, I also see how it could be perceived that way. Would that drive CC to another team? I would doubt it, and if it did then perhaps he wasn’t as interested in staying as we believe. I do, however, wonder what residual problems it could cause. Now an incentive-based reward is, I suppose a way of approaching the issue. Again though I do wonder ultimately how that would be received.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    How would it be received if he showed up at camp 400 lbs one year and you tried to coax him into losing the weight, though? My thinking is that with the contract you try to address the problem before it arises rather than after. Both approaches could work or fail, but personally I’d rather be proactive.

                    • Jimmy says:

                      But there’s nothing to indicate that his weight has any effect on his pitching. Why not just put something in the contract about hair color? If weight is an issue, the Yankees will deal with it.

                    • Adam says:

                      I suppose I just don’t have much of a worry of CC doing something irresponsible and showing up completely out of shape or ballooning any further. And maybe I’m wrong and it is a risk, and one the Yanks feel the need to protect themselves from. But, again, there is no reason to think that CC would ever let his weight become an issue. And that is why I think it would be a little bit offensive to include a clause for a player who has proven himself to be dependable and responsible.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Jimmy –
                      A. Yes there is. He’s had two knee surgeries already. There is definitely a link between weight and wear on your knees. No question. It’s not a matter of fat guys not being able to pitch, it’s a matter of keeping him as healthy as possible as he gets old in baseball terms.
                      B. I’m not asking him to become Usain Bolt or something. I’m saying put it in there to prevent him getting fatter than he is. The man in getting into his 30s, passing his physical peak. He’s going to have to work harder to maintain the same condition. I’m not saying he won’t do it, just that you incentivize him to do it. If he does what he should be doing any way… he’ll get paid more. It’s win-win.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Based on what? Have you ever sat down and talked to CC? That you like and respect a player doesn’t mean you should ignore the downside risk, or let his incentives get out of line with your organization’s. 400 lbs was an exaggeration, but he’s been 30 and under till now. It only gets harder to stay in shape as you decline physically. He’s starting that decline now and will be well into it in baseball terms by the time he’s 37. His knee hurts one offseason so he decides to take it easy rather than get in the pool to do low-resistence training. If he knows it means millions of dollars, maybe he gets his fat butt in the pool. Maybe not. It’s not a fail-safe, it’s just a way to align his incentives with the Yankees. Paying him for something he should be doing anyway.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      That was to Adam, by the way.

                      And if he’s insulted that you want to pay him to do his job, his attitude is probably not nearly as good as you assume. If that insults him, how’s he going to react when he loses a few MPH on his FB at 35 and the pitching coach suggests he change his approach?

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        Then we we mention Fielder it’s automatic that he’ll decline if he doesn’t lose weight.

      • Slugger27 says:

        a petty complaint???? what planet are you on? the dudes a professional athlete, his weight/the shape he’s in is absolutely not a petty complaint, especially when talking about a 6 year deal.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          “A few factors, though, are making the Yankees less zealous this time. They are worried about his weight gain and what it means moving forward for a pitcher who already has had two knee surgeries.”


          Apparently the Yankees are petty.

          • Slugger27 says:

            i dont get it… are you agreeing with me or not? i apologize if my wording wasn’t clear, but my point was that the yankees SHOULD have concerns about his weight, and that those concerns are NOT petty.

            • JobaWockeeZ says:

              No it was in reference to whoever said it’s petty for anyone to question the weight. But the Yankees are doing it too allegedly.

      • Yankeegirl49 says:

        “I don’t pitch with my stomach.” – Hall of Fame Pitcher and 3,000 Strikeout Club Member Gaylord Perry (answer to a reporter who asked about being an overweight pitcher)

  2. Plank says:

    If you truly liked pitching somewhere and they offered you a six-year deal that paid you more per year than any pitcher in history, wouldn’t you take it?

    Yes, yes I would take it.

    • Paul VuvuZuvella says:

      Couldn’t agree more with you and Joe.

    • Plank says:

      Not every player agrees with me, but I would take the absolute best offer even if it meant pitching for the Orioles for the next 10 years. I wouldn’t leave any money on the table in order to wear a certain uniform.

      • Slugger27 says:

        “that paid you more per year than any pitcher in history”….

        i get what youre saying, but the question joe asks us i think implies that said offer would be “the absolute best”

        i imagine the 2 biggest factors in deciding not to take the highest offer is 1) the city they’d be living in and 2) how competitive the team is

        obviously 2 isnt an issue with the yankees, and as far as 1 goes, CC has stated how much he and his family love new york multiple times. if he didnt take an offer that would make him the highest paid pitcher in history, thats a definite red flag.

  3. Virginia says:

    I appreciate the fact that you can take a joke, Cris. But seriously, CC did have knee problems before last season…maybe his weight was a small part of that? It can’t be good for him. He lost at least 20 pounds before last season, and then gained it back during the year. Keeping it off would be better.

  4. Virginia says:

    Interesting idea, haha. I like!

  5. Slugger27 says:

    dude joe, you’re killin me with using “extension” in the headline. i thought for a second it’d be worth 10 years and nearly shit my pants.

  6. TogaSean says:

    My opinion, 6 years is a mistake regardless of how important he is to the rotation. At 31 with all the innings CC has racked up, 5 should be the absolute max, even that makes me uncomfortable. In the end, I know the yanks can afford to eat a lot of dollars that other teams cannot, but with Arod’s boat anchor of a contract this makes me nervous for 4 years from now.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      I don’t think we’ll ever see a year without an albatross contract. It’s what has to happen if you want to compete every year.

    • Slugger27 says:

      i think rich, big market teams like the yankees sign these free agents fully aware the contract will be an albatross in the last year or 2, and they just sign it anyway because they know what it can do for them in the short term. If CC is dominant for 4 years, and declines in the last 2, i think the yankees would probably sign up for that.

      • Yankeegirl49 says:

        In my opinion, THAT is the biggest advantage of having money..the ability to pay a guy later for what he can do now.

  7. George says:

    He has been successful at whatever weight he has been. However, weight takes a toll on joints and the rest of the body, even more as we age. If he blows out a knee making an extra trip to the bufet table, he still gets paid (can you say Pavano, Feliciano, Marte?). If I get hurt, I can get disability (something short of 24+ million a year) Just ask a doctor what 10 extra pounds does to your heart, knees, etc. For that knid of money, I think he would want to be in the best possible condition.

  8. Virginia says:

    If I had it my way, I’d never sign a guy to a deal over 5 years. I just think it makes them lazy, kind of like teachers that get tenure and then just sit on their a$$es all day and make the kids sign contracts saying that if they do badly, they won’t complain about the teacher (true story)…but in this age of baseball, that’s never going to happen. Oh well.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It’s especially hard to take that approach when you have the greatest financial strength in the industry like the Yankees do. Their biggest competitive advantage is that they can outspend their opposition, and they’d likely be throwing it away. They could give guys HUGE short term deals to compensate, but that’s not particularly efficient either. So in practice they’d probably be signing the B-rate free agents to big 5 year deals while they watched the A-rate free agents sign elsewhere.

    • Slugger27 says:

      i see what you’re saying, but if they truly held firm at only 5 year deals, theyd never get premium talent on the market.

    • Jonathan says:

      That’s like if you had the #1 overall pick each year but said you’d never top $1MM…you’re throwing away the entire advantage and point of having that advantage and would never get players worthy of the #1 pick.

  9. Tom T says:

    The offer is fair bc that’s what the market dictates, not because of “how much Sabathia has contributed to the Yankees in the last three years.” That’s the definition of paying for past performances. He’s not giving us a hometown discount, why should Yanks pay extra bc of how important he used to be?

    Six years is a lot, but if that’s what it takes and the Yanks are resolved to retaining him, then it’s a fair deal, even if it seems awfully risky for a guy so big.

  10. Marc says:

    I don’t think him turning down the Yankees offer and going out on the market means he doesn’t like NY. But he’s doing this get paid and he and his agent want to get teams bidding against each other. It’s not like the Yankee offer isn’t still gonna be there if the open market isn’t to his liking.

  11. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    They will end up paying 145 mil or above because Boston will get in on the action because of the loss of Lackey or simply to drive up the price. My hope is that he will accept the 145 mil for six years. Our youngsters may be one or two years away still and the will need someone who will show them the ropes at the beginning.

    • Bean Tooth says:

      I definitely think the announcement of Lackey’s surgery is pushing the Yanks to get it done before CC has a chance to opt out. Not that the big man would go to Boston, but that things could get ridiculous if they get the opportunity to get in on the bidding. It also complicates the Yanks’ desire for another top pitcher. Lackey’s doucheiness is making things much more complicated for the Yankees.

  12. Doc Holliday says:

    The Yanks have to over 6 years or he’ll get it somewhere else. The Yanks have had no qualms in the past with giving old players too many years so I don’t know why they would now with a 31 year old ace.

    If Sabathia declines the deal and opts out anyway then I would rescind this offer and publicly announce that we are not going to re-sign him. That will drive down his price and he probably won’t get more than what we offered.

    • thenamestsam says:

      I’m not really sure how the two paragraphs of your comment go together, but driving down his price if you’re not going to resign him is the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face. The only person it hurts is him, and the only person it helps is the team who eventually signs him…which is one of your competitors.
      I guess you go to bed feeling victorious for having screwed over a player who was great for you for three years and then decided to find out what his services were worth to the rest of the market(gasp) but in the end you’ve hurt your own team at the expense of another team. Not exactly good business.

  13. Jumpin' Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge) says:

    It’s CC Sabathia. Give him six years. Hell, give him seven. You want this guy in pinstripes as long as he can deliver the goods. I’ll be glad to kick the problem down the line and hope a 37 year-old CC will still have something to offer in what will be a very different-looking rotation by then.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Of coruse you would be fine with the problem seeing as it isn’t your investment…

      • Jumpin' Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge) says:

        I think the “they should give him no more than five. if not, pretend to give him the side-eye until his price goes down and China gets involved” arguments are the stuff of folks who should really just invest in one of those virtual general manager games…..at which they’d all probably suck. Not only does “your trade proposal suck,” but “your negotiation tactic” probably does as well.

        It’s not my money. It’s not my investment. It’s not yours either. As I said yesterday, I think this is all preposterous to begin with, but we work with what we are handed. It’s why we don’t sit here and talk about how it’d be better spent on teachers and social workers – it’s an argument that doesn’t go anywhere. Knowing that, alluding that someone else is being irresponsible because it’s “not their money” when they comment on a board is just plain dumb.

        Keeping elite players means paying through the nose for their declining years sometimes. It’s why we all smiled in 2009 when CC, Alex, Tex, Jeter, Posada, and AJ won a championship.

        By the time those potentially troublesome years come down the pipeline, it’ll be Alex and CC the team is paying for. The rest will have worked themselves through. The franchise can handle that, provided the rest of their ducks in a row…..and they usually are.

  14. coolerking101 says:

    Given that Lee has never thrown particularly hard, there was less risk that Lee’s stuff would fade over six years than say, CC, a guy who lives off of a fastball/changeup combo.

    If I’m the Yanks, I initially offer 4 years and make him the highest paid pitcher in baseball. More importantly (to CC) I’d also include a clause that requires the Yanks to increase CC’s salary over the next three years to match the salary of the highest paid starting pitcher in baseball during that 3 year period. If/when he rejects that offer, I’d bump to a 5 year deal with the same 3 year matching clause. Avoid six years at all cost.

    • Plank says:

      Don’t power pitchers tend to age much better than finesse pitchers?

      • pat says:

        Control pitchers age best. If you can put the ball where you want at 95 or 85 mph you can survive. CC has good enough command and offspeed stuff that he should be able to survive at 90-91 instead of 95-96 like he does now.

        • Plank says:

          Where did you read that?

            • Plank says:

              Since you posted above with seeming absolute certainty to my question, I assume you have some source to back up your opinion.

              If not, I’ll know to disregard your posts in the future.

              Until now I was genuinely curious, but your last comment really rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t know if that was the intention.

              • pat says:

                Haha I’m sorry. I was just joking. I don’t have some sort of definitive source. the proof of the pudding is the eating. It’s why the Freddy Garcia and Jamie Moyers of the world can still pitch with such diminished velocity because a well placed pitch is still very difficult to hit regardless of velocity. CC is not only a power pitcher with a 95 mph fastball but his career BB/9 of 2.8 is still very good. A guy like Burnett, who was a bonified power pitcher could get away with throwing the ball over the middle of the plate or out of the strikezone because his velocity made it hard to pick up. As his velocity dips even further the hits and walks will rise because his pitches are easier to pick up and he can’t paint corners to compensate.

  15. UYF1950 says:

    While a 6 year deal at say $150M total is not ideal. I’m not sure I understand what all the hoopla is about. I think most fans would agree the 4 remaining years he has on is contract is no big deal, so what are fans so up in arms? A 2 year extension, big deal even if CC is only marginally above average for the last 2 years of the contract that would still be on average worth about $30M. So the net effect in extra cost to the Yankees is about $20M over 6 years. Quite honestly that’s chump change to the Yankees.
    This is just my opinion but I think what bothers fans the most isn’t money or the years or the fact that CC may not be worth what the Yankees wind up paying him for the last 2 years of an extension it’s that CC “may” opt out when he signed on the dotted line and fans believed the only reason for that opt out clause was if he and his family didn’t like NY. Because to be honest if CC were not a Yankee and hitting the “open” market this year at 31 years of age with his resume a 5 year deal for $125M would be a no brainer and 6 years at between $140 to $150M probably wouldn’t take much thought either. Like I said that’s just my opinion.

    • thenamestsam says:

      Agree with this 100%. It’s definitely a “grass is always greener on the other side” phenomenon. I’d take your scenario even further by pointing out that not only is 31 year old non-Yankee CC hitting the open market with a ridiculous resume, but we are also somehow GUARANTEED that he is capable of handling the stresses of NY(or whatever you want to call it) that have contributed to the relative lack of success of other free agents coming here.

      If that guy was hitting the market, Yankees fans would be going insane about trying to sign him, but CC falls in a gray area with a lot of the fans. He’s not a new shiny toy that you can get all excited about, but he also hasn’t quite earned his True Yankee status that would entitle him in many fans’ minds to both years and dollars well above what the market would support(to be clear: he has earned the True Yankee status in my mind, but I don’t think that’s the common perception and him opting out has only furthered that).

      • BK2ATL says:

        He’s earned True Yankee status in my mind too.

        I also think pointing out that he has proven that he can handle the stresses/pressures of NY is very important and highly underrated around here.

  16. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    I believe that CC’s deal falls in the 6 years 145-160 value. As far as his weight. I do get alarmed when I see the weight creeping back from ST but he is a unique athlete. His weight doesn’t prevent pitching if kept reasonably in check. He may loss stamina when he reaches a lessor weight. So the need for the blubbery look.

    A couple of years ago my wife and I watched our son run the NYC marathon. As we stood at the final turn before the runners entered the park. It was quite obvious the different body types. Their were the runners bodies, the iron man bodies, the triathletes and bodies that appeared a bit soft to be able to run a marathon. We all have different body makeups which still allow for competitive excellence. CC is a bit soft. Remember he’s 6’7″, big boned. Plenty of room to hide/put weight on it.

    I do wish that he monitor the weight for his longevity and value to the team. He’s not a hard head I’m sure it can be addressed without major issue.

  17. Rich says:

    If Sabathia plays hardball with the Yanks and won’t accept a five year deal with a sixth year option I say let “Dough”boy go. Take the money and sign Wilson(slightly lower ERA than CC) and Darvish. That way you have two quality starting pitchers that are in shape and won’t cost much more than just signing CC. CC can take his decling years to some other team.

    • pat says:

      Lol, slightly lower ERA.

    • Plank says:

      I’d like to see the Yankees re-sign CC, but if he goes elsewhere, I won’t be heartbroken. I would think his chance of a big injury in the next 5 years would be pretty high. That’s not based on much other than he is a 31 year old pitcher.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge) says:

      Wilson is just as likely to decline as CC is. Darvish also has that long, storied MLB track record to back up his effectiveness.

      We’re playing PS3 games here again.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        If you could legitimately get those guys at far better value than CC, I don’t think it’s a ridiculous proposal. However, because they are both free agents too (with Darvish’s posting fee) I don’t think that will be the case.

        Plus the Yankees have the resources to get CC back and go hard after one or even both of those guys too.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I don’t think you’ll get Wilson and Darvish combined for the same as CC.

    • Slugger27 says:

      darvish is a $100M commitment, wilson is $80-90M commitment. you’re not getting both for CC money.

    • BK2ATL says:

      This is just funny. CJ Wilson as our ace in the AL East??? Yeah, okay.

      “Dough boy” was just as big when he put up 3 straight Cy Young-like seasons for us, in the AL East.

      Declining years? Weight? You guys are hilarious, and delirious if you think CJ Wilson and Yu Darvish = 1 CC Sabathia. Neither CJ or Yu could come into the Yanks’ rotation and be the leader, something CC does every time he steps into a rotation.

  18. JohnC says:

    a 6 year deal with alot of the money front loaded, similar to Arod’s deal. First 3 years of the deal the salaries are the highest, with the salary declining each of the last 3 years

    • thenamestsam says:


      Front loading is always worse for the team if the total amount of money is equal.

      • Ed says:

        While that’s generally true, there are problems with that.

        If you backload too much, your payroll down the line balloons. You need to spread your commitments to manage your risk and make sure you have flexibility later on.

        A-Rod is probably front loaded to deal with the HR bonuses. A backloaded contract with him making >$30m/year plus potentially passing several of the HR milestones in one season would have been brutal on the payroll.

        • thenamestsam says:

          It shouldn’t matter if your payroll down the line balloons unless you’re committed to having a payroll that stays constant every year. If you’re not then you just stick your savings on the early years in the bank and they more than make up for the ballooning in later years. There’s no reason to be wedded to having a payroll at the same level every year if your long term finances are balanced.

  19. Tim says:

    I have to laugh at the people in the media who are now speculating that because of John Lackey requiring Tommy John surgery, they are going to be aggressive in pursuing CC Sabathia. You do realize that they still have to pay Lackey, right? For the next three years, right? Their payroll is going to be over $170 million next year – they aren’t serious players for Sabathia, and wouldn’t be even if Lester AND Beckett blew out their arms, too.

    • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

      They may not be really but just to make the Yankees pay more they will surely enter the bidding.

      • BK2ATL says:

        Somehow on this one, I don’t think Boston will have any effect on CC’s price for the Yanks. For that matter, I don’t any other team will.

        His family uprooted from the West Coast to plant roots in NYC. That was a very tough decision for them. His family absolutely love NYC now. He’s not going to move them again. I think that was part of the decisioning 3 years ago, and he was rewarded handsomely for that commitment to the Yanks. We agreed to an opt-out, if it didn’t work out for him. He’s rewarded us with 3 almost Cy Young-winning years. A win-win for both sides.

        Somehow, I think if we make him the 6 yr offer, he’s going to sign and be done with it. CC is better than Cliff Lee, and should be paid as such, even by a dollar more.

      • Tim says:

        They only have an effect on the amount the Yankees offer CC if the Yankees are stupid enough to not realize any Boston “interest” is merely a bluff. There is absolutely no way that Boston (or Philadelphia, for that matter) can pay the type of offer in dollars and years that CC has remaining on his existing deal, forget about any extension, given the state of their existing payrolls. And Boston won’t “enter the bidding” because they cannot afford to actually make a bid on CC (at least not one that there is any reasonable chance he would accept). They may take him out to dinner, or bring him and his family on to John Henry’s yacht, but you can bet that no formal offer will ever be made. As long as the Yankees keep that in mind, they’ll realize that they would be bidding against themselves and get this thing done quickly.

  20. Max says:

    I can live with 6. You [royal you referring to front office] just need to keep that in mind as far as balancing how aggressively you develop and hold your pitching prospects. If you have a growing and talented young core of pitchers to surround a pitcher like Sabathia, even if he declines, you’ve absolutely done the right thing.

  21. BK2ATL says:

    Just give CC the 6 yr deal and call it a day. This shouldn’t even be a discussion. The alternatives without CC as our ace would be pretty grim. After the underachivements of Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy over the past 3 years, there is no immediate recourse for us. Wilson ain’t CC, nor would Jackson and/or Darvish. Banuelos, Betances and Brackman aren’t sure things in the future. CC is a leader, point-blank.

    CC has been and will be the rock of the rotation. Moreso than his weight, he has to carry the weight of a sometimes inconsistent rotation around. Then you throw in Girardi’s 6 man rotation crap, which would throw off CC’s routine. CC’s importance to the team is unmeasureable, that is, until he’s gone.

    Just pay the man and let’s move forward with the Darvish, LOOGY and bench depth talks.

  22. Holy Ghost says:

    Pay the man!

  23. chmch says:

    Yep, he’s worth it and they have to make the offer and blahdeblahdeblah, but just forget baseball and all that and think for a second what we’re talking about . . . $160+ MILLION dollars?!! Holy moly that’s a lot of moola. With a couple of mil I don’t think I’d ever have to work again. With a 160 I don’t anybody in my family would ever have to work for generations.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge) says:

      If you start thinking that way, you drive yourself crazy. You have to put “this is insane money” aside when entering into sports salary talk. Otherwise, there’s really nowhere to move the conversation. Just my two cents on the topic.

    • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

      I wish I were a lefty, 31 and able to put a 95mph fastball on the black. Also throw 230 plus innings per year.

  24. Frank says:

    Six years for this guy is crazy. I’d keep it at 4, increase the annual salary a bit and say take it or leave. He’s not going to get any better; at best, 3 good years before the massive decline really starts.

    • Plank says:

      Why do you want CC Sabathia to make as little money as possible?

    • JAG says:

      “He’s not going to get any better”? He’s been a legit Cy Young candidate for 5+ years in a row. How much better do you need him to be?

      More to the point, what about his performance (his PERFORMANCE, mind you) leads you to think he is going to suddenly and dramatically drop off after 3 years?

  25. Monteroisdinero says:

    Pay the man-assign him a personal catcher and realize what a great deal it is to have a 24M pitcher throwing to a 475K catcher. Together they are a bargain.

    That was for you Ted.

  26. Cuso says:

    “A five-year deal would certainly have to come in at around $125 million, and would include at least one option.”

    Team option or player option?

    Because I’m not looking to play that game again….

  27. Mike Axisa says:

    Five years and a vesting option (say 175 IP in the last year or 350 IP total in the last two years combined), please.

    • BK2ATL says:

      Do you cave in to a 6th year guaranteed, if that’s what it takes to get the deal done? I don’t think the money will be the ultimate sticking point, if one comes up. I think it will be years.

    • Bubba says:

      This seems supremely reasonable. So much so that it probably isn’t realistic ;).

  28. David, Jr. says:

    Six years, 150.

    He has been an exceptionally durable and courageous player, not to mention an ideal teammate. If I am him and the Yankees so much as mention weight, I say “Bite Me”, and start looking.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I doubt CC would agree with you. He has literally made an effort to lose weight, and acknowledged that it’s an issue. He has literally had knee issues and there’s a direct link to weight there.

      If he did agree with you and caught that bad an attitude about something so trivial, that would not be a good sign. I don’t think he’s nearly the egomaniacal baby to do something so reactionary and petty. If he can’t take some prodding about his weight, how had he had the mental fortitude to have the success he’s had? How will he react when he loses a couple of MPH on his FB and the Yankees mention changing his approach? Will he storm out and demand a trade? Great.

      • David, Jr. says:

        Of course he needs to stay in good physical condition, like anybody else. However, his David Wells/Mickey Lolich body type hasn’t had much bearing on his career, which has been of the Iron Horse variety, featuring 230+ high quality innings annually. In fact, his durability in the stretch the one year for Milwaukee was almost shocking.

        I doubt greatly that the Yankees will make his weight any issue at all, because it isn’t an issue for this particular player. If they do, they are asking for trouble.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          That it has not been an issue up until age 30 does not mean it will not become an issue in his 30s. It doesn’t mean it will, but the guy has had two knee surgeries.

          Might have nothing at all to do with weight, but he also faded hardcore down the stretch this season as his weight rose.

  29. tbord says:

    Dear Brian – Throw in city parking and let’s get this deal done!

  30. Jesse says:

    I’d offer him five years. His weight COULD (not will) be an issue in the latter half of the deal. I’d offer him 5 years, $125M, maybe a little more.

    • David, Jr. says:

      I saw this, but does it really make sense? They still have a payroll of 170M. I see them as a team that will try to get younger and go full blast into building a super farm system.

  31. LiterallyFigurative says:

    6 for $150mm sounds about right.

  32. Rainbow Connection says:

    A-Rod was ‘in shape’ and can’t seem to hold it together. Great idea to sign an obese person to 6 years.

  33. Andy says:

    “Without Sabathia in 2012, the Yankees would be in quite a bind.”

    Not necessarily true. A blog called Yankees Fans Unite explained how there’s definitely a way they could let Sabathia go. http://yankeesfansunite.wordpr.....-rotation/

    • Hardy says:

      Their alternative is pretty expensive:

      Wilson for 5/90
      Edwin Jackson for 3/36
      Gio Gonzalez for Austin Romine and Dellin Betances (if that is enough)

      I would therefore not agree with the conclusion that “you have a solid, playoff-caliber rotation, without a massive 7 year / $140+MM contract. Then you have a pretty good amount of flexibility.”

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yeah, those prices don’t even look realistic anyway.

        I think Wilson’s lowest price is 5/90. He’s straight-up better than AJ and Lackey, a lefty, few miles on the arm… I think that’s the floor for him.

        Same with Edwin Jackson. Almost a 4 fWAR starter and a Boras client.

        I don’t see why these guys are going to roll over in free agency, but CC is going to take a 7 year deal.

        If I am Oakland I am not trading you Gio Gonzalez for Romine and Betances. That’s a Yankees fans dream. He’s a quality young LHSP, and those are flawed prospects. I’m not trading him for another Kurt Suzuki when I already have Suzuki plus a control-problem guy many think is a reliever.

        • Hardy says:

          I’m with you on these points.
          I also wouldn’t trade Gio for Romine and Betances if I were Oakland’s GM. But I tried to give Yankees Fans Unite’s plan a favorable interpretation because I disagree with it.

          • Andy says:

            I agree, it would be an overall higher price. However, I think what he meant that there would be greater flexibility, is that you aren’t binded into a 7 year contract with an aging, frankly overweight pitcher in his 30s.

            I have no desire to sign C.J. Wilson by the way. Too much money, and too many years for someone in his 30s who has shown no postseason “clutch”.

            • Hardy says:

              I don’t get the flexibility argument either. Trading prospects reduces your flexibility. Filling three rotation spots instead of one reduces your flexibility.

              • Andy says:

                He probably should have clarified it more.

                I think he means later in the contract, at least this is my thinking, that what happens if C.C. declines greatly from say age 35-39. Then they are locked into having a 25 million dollar, no longer ace.

                You make a valid point about the prospects.

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