The 800lb gorilla has sat in the room since the day Brian Cashman had to go All-IN to over pay for C.C. Sabathia a 7YR, 161MIL deal in 2008. Don’t get me wrong – C.C. has performed as advertised. Fast Forward – three years and you can only think about the opt-out clause that was negotiated with the Sabathia deal. At the close of the season, C.C. will leave 4years and 92 million remaining on the table to test the open market. Sabathia has been the ace the Yankees envisioned when signing his deal (unlike A.J. Burnett) and will be turning 31 in July. C.C. will have the flexibility (in his prime) to ask for a 6 or 7 year deal for 140MIL.
We’ll have the opportunity to identify if C.C. is a money mercenary or just someone that’s realizing the Yankees are getting older and the wins won’t get any easier. Over the next three years, this franchise will finally retire its modern day icons known as the “Core Four”. It’s paramount for C.C. to lock in a guaranteed long-term deal past age 35 with additional year on it. This is Sabathia’s last mega deal in which he can break the bank with many suitors vying for his services.
Watch for the Angels and Cubs as they both have money coming off the books after this season and will surely look to make a free agent splash. This year’s FA market will include mostly third or fourth tier starter types who are past their primes. Trust me – the Yankees won’t let him go without a fight and they don’t seem to possess hard feeling to players (IE: A-ROD) that opt out of their deals. Could you imagine the Cubs with Theo Epstein, Terry Francona and C.C. Sabathia? That could possibly make Carlos Zambrano wake up and fly right with a heavy hitting 1-2 combo.