ESPN: Yankees and Sabathia “Very Close” to Deal

Jayson Stark is reporting that the Yankees’ willingness to add a seventh year to the offer to CC Sabathia has left “zero major road blocks” to landing Sabathia.  The seven-year deal would be for a total of $160 million, by far the biggest ever for a pitcher.  Clearly, this is the biggest move yet in the off-season, with the Yanks instantly moving back into serious contention in the deep, competitive AL East.  The rotation with two spots left to fill is CC, Wang, and Joba–three guys I’d take in a playoff series, Ahem, with the possibility of landing Sheets for a two-year deal, signing Beckett or Lowe, and/or re-signing Pettite for a year.  Immediately, those three, whether or not they constitute the putative “top of the rotation,” make a formidable trio for anyone facing the Yanks.  As Mike said in a brief but spirited chinwag on the horn this morning, teams entering Yankee Stadium will likely face at least two top-flight starters in a three-game series.  Considering that the Yankees are not done in the free-agent market and with any kind of improved offense, they have the makings of a staff who can go toe-to-toe with anyone.

That’s certainly what the Yankees and we as fans expect, as Buster Olney reminds in a very good blog.   Such a staff as the Yankees will assemble, when healthy, will give the Yankees a chance to win every time out.  Sabathia provides an alpha starter, a tough lefty who can help shut down the short porch in right, get hitters facing the biggest part of the park in left center and center, and match up with any ace.  CC will be an enormous lift.  Count on it also opening things for other free agents, with the so-called pattern being set for other free agents, downward but with no shortage of largess to go around.  The Yankees need one more pitcher, and word of a two-year, $30 million offer to Sheets would be just right–short-term for the Yankees, lots of money to Sheets who could have two unusually healthy, typically productive years to help a team but also himself get another good and maybe longer-term deal afterward.

Today’s one of those great Midwest days in December–cold and windy but without a cloud in the sky.  These are the kinds of days that get me thinking positively and about possibilities.  It probably would have anyway, but the likely signing of Sabathia has that vibe flowing all the more this morning.

[Edit: From what I’ve read at LoHud, this deal includes an opt-out clause after 2011, about which I’m not thrilled.  However, if he likes NY and thrives on the field, why leave?  The Yankees have given him gobs of money, and there are plenty of places nearby for him to reside in peace and comfort.  I’m not too worried about the opt-out, and Cashman must have felt it necessary to get the deal done.  He’ll likely only opt out if his market value is high, in which case he will have been performing quite well in pinstripes.  OK by me, and I’m not worried much about it right now.]

Published in: on December 10, 2008 at 10:17 am  Comments (15)  

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  1. I think you’ll agree that in a head-to-head look at this deal, the Yankees have gained much, much more than C.C. Sabathia has. I think Sabathia will just do what he does… win… and dominate. The Yankees finally get the ace they’ve not seen since Roger Clemens fell off the face of the Earth.

  2. Happy the deal appears to be done, but he can opt out after three years? What’s up with that?

  3. We got the piper!

  4. Hey everyone Mike told me about this deal I am so happy with getting CC. As for the opt out in 3 years at 32 I dont think he will opt out of around 100mil. I read the Yanks have offered Lowe 4 years 60mil please no I really hope they go for Sheets 2 years.

  5. Hey Nick. I’m not exactly losing sleep about the opt-out, either. If he wants to be in The Bronx, he will be. If not, the Yankees have tons of money to get other good pitchers. I’m not worried. I too would rather see Sheets for 2 seasons than Lowe for 4, honestly. 4 years/$60+ million for Lowe’s brand of OK isn’t worth it. I’d rather they make a play for Teixeira.

  6. Obviously I am very pleased with signing Sabathia. Howver, I still badly want Teixeira but that probably is not going to happen. In terms of other pitchers, I would definitely target Lowe. Yes he is 36, but he consistently logs more than 30 starts. Plus he only has 1900 innings on his arm becausehe began his career as a reliever. The Yankees need starters who will toe the rubber every fifth day. AJ Burnett is not that guy. I would consider Sheets on a two year deal or two years plus an option. Plus, I believe that any deal udner 4 years can be insured. If Sheets were to get hurt, the Yankees wouldn’t be out 30 million.

    Imagine being able to throw Sabathia, Wang, and Joba at the Red Sox in a series.

  7. I agree with you Tim about Teix I want him as well I just heard on ESPN that we have offered AJ Burnett 5 years 91mil UGH! please no. If your gonna give AJ a 32 year old, injury prone player 18.5mil a year why not Teix for an extra 3 mil.

  8. i’d rather take a chance on sheets for 3 or 3 years than lowe at all – he may be a workhorse, but a certainly unimpressive one. still despite everything you hear i don’t think that tex is out of the question-no one i’d rather see in pinstripes right now. though i LOVE the Ankiel for IPK rumors…

  9. I have to say that 5/$91 million for Burnett makes little sense to me, unless the Yankees have a crystal ball seeing him making 160 starts with them over that time. Lowe doesn’t entice me much, either. I’d prefer Sheets on the short term than Lowe. I too think that Teixeira would be a far better signing and, with what he might be considering, he might take 7 years. If so, there is little different financially between Burnett and Teixeira. A bit more money would fill a pressing need in the offense and at first. Burnett can’t become another, more expensive PaVoldemort.

  10. on the other hand- over 5 years you might get quite a lot out of him. yeah he will spend dome time on the DL but his stuff is amazing. lowe is just a tired old nag waiting for the glue factory. i wonder why we haven’t heard more about sheets .

  11. so the tigers just got edwin jackson from the rays for matt joyce. not much of a threat either way there. i was afraid the rays might actually acquire a real bat for RF

  12. Per, the Yankees have resumed talks with the Brewers about acquiring Mike Cameron. I want no part of Cameron. Go sign Adam Dunn to play right field and go with Gardner in center.

    Yes I am up at 2 am.

  13. That’s the teaser with Burnett, Mike. When he’s healthy he’s lethal. Should the Yankees get him–and my understanding last night was that they did indeed make a five-year offer to Burnett–we’d be lucky to see him make 150 starts in five seasons. Honestly, I’d take it–not counting playoffs.

    Nor does that trade the Rays made worry me, Mike. I think the Rays will land the Big G.

    On Cameron, I’m with you a thousand percent, Tim. Forget Cameron and his weak average. No way to Cameron. I’d rather see Ankiel, and would surely deal Ian E. Neumann, who has NL stuff written all over him.

  14. I just read on the Daily news sitw we are gonna get Cameron. AS much as I would rather Ankiel if it’s just Melky for Cameron striaght up? I can’t complain about that. Also I would rather Garnder get his chance but what can you do Cameron will be a stop gap for Austin Jackson anyway til next year. Tell you what tho between Nick Swisher and Mike Cameron the Yankees have just added a whole lot of strike outs. Now all they need to do is to add Adam Dunn to complete the Hat-Trick.

  15. I think you’re right, Nick, about at least not giving away the farm for Cameron, and that he’s a bridge to Jackson. But I too am really worried about all the K’s. Cameron averages 135 K’s over his 12 full-time years, and he doesn’t hit nearly as many homers as Dunn. If the Yanks acquire Dunn to top it off, and the three play full-time, he, Swisher, and Cameron could amass 500 K’s between them, seriously.

    Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

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