• CC: Clock Countdown

    Posted by on November 21st, 2009 · Comments (8)

    When CC Sabathia signed with the Yankees for this season, he got a signing bonus of $9 million. And, he was paid $14 million in salary for 2009. So, basically, the big lefty got $23 million for pitching in Yankeeland this year. Now, from 2010 through 2015, Sabathia’s contract calls for him to paid $23 million a year. Yes, it’s safe to say that CC is the Yankees $23 million dollar man.

    But, Sabathia also has a clause in his contract that allows him to “opt out” and become a free agent after the 2011 season – much like Alex Rodriguez had an “opt out” after his 2007 MVP season.

    Will CC hit the free agent market like A-Rod did – two years from now? That’s an interesting question. As, how many other teams will be able to match or better a contract that’s supposed to pay $23 million a year for (then) four years?

    Perhaps a lot of it depends on what pitchers like Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, and Roy Halladay are making, per season, come 2010 and/or 2011? Will any of them be making $23 million a season by that time? Well, if teams have paid (no pun intended) attention to the recent contracts given to Johan Santana, Barry Zito, Mike Hampton, Kevin Brown and Carlos Zambrano…I doubt it.

    So, if Sabathia leaves after 2011, it will because he wants out of New York (for some reason) or because he wants more years (beyond 2015). That said, maybe the Yankees should strike now, while the glow of the World Series ring is still hot, and offer to “buy out” the “opt out” and take-away what could be a distraction in 2011? Say, offer CC something like $16 million to be paid out over the next 8 years if he waives his opt out clause now? Or, then again, maybe the Yankees just figure the market, come 2011, will work in their favor and Sabathia will have no where to go? (Like that really worked when A-Rod opted out, huh?)

    In any event, the countdown to CC’s opt out clause is at two years and counting…tick, tick, tick...

    Comments on CC: Clock Countdown

    1. Scout
      November 21st, 2009 | 10:22 am

      It really must be a slow news day….

      Of all the things Brian Cashman must be worrying about today, this is the least likely to cause him to lose any sleep.

    2. JeremyM
      November 21st, 2009 | 10:52 am

      Steve, going back to an old post about an old game you watched where guys didn’t have on “baggy” uniforms- have you ever taken a look at what they wore in the 40s? I can’t get enough Yankees right now and was watching some old World Series films, and the guys were practically swimming in their uniforms. They looked like MC Hammer parachute pants.

      As far as this, I’m not sure it really will be a distraction. I don’t think A-Rod’s ability to opt out cost the team one game in 2007. Sure, it was a distraction during the off-season (and the 9th inning of the Series to those who were watching:)

    3. MJ
      November 21st, 2009 | 4:57 pm

      JeremyM wrote:

      As far as this, I’m not sure it really will be a distraction. I don’t think A-Rod’s ability to opt out cost the team one game in 2007.

      Agreed. Moreover, the prospect of A-Rod opting out of his contract in 2007 certainly didn’t cost the Yanks any headaches or distractions in 2006. As such, I don’t see why we’re even talking about Sabathia’s opt-out clause so far in advance?

    4. jrk
      November 21st, 2009 | 9:43 pm

      We’re talking about it because there is no other news to talk about. It’s the off-season, remember?

      I have an interesting take on this actually. I think the best thing that could happen to the Yankees is that they win another championship or two with CC, he opts out in 2011, and they let him go. Then, take all the money they will have saved on the rest of his contract, and invest in a younger stud pitcher.* Now is when you ask me why the hell you let a guy walk who brought you 2 or 3 championships. And I respond, because he is bound to age, and if you can get a younger guy, why not start the cycle over with a new ace?

      *Note: This plan only works if there is a younger Ace on the market that summer who the Yanks are confident they can lock up.

      Just a wild thought…

    5. November 22nd, 2009 | 7:53 am

      @ JeremyM:
      Heck, in the 1950′s and before the uniforms were wool. I doubt that players wanted tight wool uniforms – I can did that. And, at the least, the length was proper – not like today. That’s the bigger issue for me – in that the pants go all the way past the shoes and have all that extra material bunching up there.

    6. November 22nd, 2009 | 8:10 am

      @ jrk:
      Interesting plan. And, it’s nice to see some are up for wild thoughts during the hot stove.

    7. JeremyM
      November 22nd, 2009 | 9:22 pm

      They just need to switch to cotton- where’s Costanza when you need him?

    8. YankCrank
      November 23rd, 2009 | 12:02 pm

      jrk wrote:

      I have an interesting take on this actually. I think the best thing that could happen to the Yankees is that they win another championship or two with CC, he opts out in 2011, and they let him go.

      This is exactly what I thought last year when the deal was signed.

      Essentially, you pay for 3 great years of CC and he opts out to go decline somewhere else. So many people flipped out when they heard about the opt-out clause and few realized how it could play into the Yankees favor.

      This is all, of course, hypothetical, but if CC opts out in 2011 and we lose him, can anybody be terribly upset about it? We got a ring out of him, didn’t we? There will be other big fish in the pond.

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