• Yanks Hope To Strike Early On CC, Willing To Go Six

    Posted by on October 26th, 2011 · Comments (3)

    Via the Post

    By the time two days of meetings in Tampa, Fla., end tomorrow, the Yankees will develop a plan they hope will keep CC Sabathia from opting out of a contract following the World Series.

    General manager Brian Cashman will chair meetings of Yankees brass that will include president Randy Levine, assistant GM Jean Afterman, Billy Eppler, the head of pro scouting, and likely owner Hal Steinbrenner.

    Cashman’s new contract could be finalized in Tampa.

    “Their hope is to present Sabathia with an offer he is agreeable with before he opts out,’’ said a person with knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking.

    Sabathia can opt out of the final four years of a contract, which has $92 million remaining. He has three days following the World Series (which will end no later than Thursday) to opt out and become a free agent.

    If he does, the Yankees will be the favorites to re-sign him, but until the 31-year-old lefty opts out, the team has exclusive negotiating rights with their ace, who is 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA in three New York seasons in which he has averaged 235 innings.

    The Yankees are believed to be OK with a five- or six-year deal for an obvious raise over his current $23 million a year. Yet seven or eight years is something they want to avoid because of age, workload, and Sabathia gaining weight across the second half of last season.

    Because of so much uncertainty behind Sabathia in the Yankees’ rotation and a free agent class short on starters, the large lefty is in a very good bargaining position.

    Sabathia might be agreeable to an extension before opting out because there is a stigma — see Alex Rodriguez in 2007 — attached to the process.

    Nice try. But, no way Sabathia signs without testing the market. Otherwise, how would he know what money to accept? And, would he accept just an additional two years? It may take a seven-year deal to get this done. Will the Yankees go that far?

    I would not consider it – unless there was a buyout in that last year. Heck, I’m not even sure it makes sense to go six on CC, given his innings to date and his lack of conditioning.

    In fact, I would have no problem if the Yankees told him “Here’s five years for $115 million. You know the perks of playing for the Yankees. If someone else can match that, and give you more money and/or years, you should take that offer.” But, I doubt they have the stones to make that move.

    Comments on Yanks Hope To Strike Early On CC, Willing To Go Six

    1. bags
      October 26th, 2011 | 6:03 pm

      Don’t they have to tell him they are out of the bidding if he opts out? (And stick to it, unlike with A-Rod?)

      If they don’t they are essentially bidding now against their future selves. And if they are out of the running they take the biggest payroll out of the market and increase the risk that he won’t get a max deal.

    2. MJ Recanati
      October 27th, 2011 | 11:21 am

      @ bags:
      The Yanks can’t do that so, nope, no chance that they cut off talks after he opts out.

    3. tanzo
      October 27th, 2011 | 5:06 pm

      You are nuts. If the yankees do what you say, you would be the first giving them shit!!!You know what the yanks offered Lee last year and CC is much better. 5/115 is just adding one more year to the current contract and the same rate as this years pay. That is just not realistic. If they lose CC then they will have to trade Montero for a starter (ace), which you would go ballistic, and then the yanks would have to pay Wilson about the same money they are paying CC right now. There are NO free agent pitchers who are aces, except cc if he opts out. The yanks have 11 million coming off the books in A-Rod’s contract the next 5 years. Just shift that money to CC and the budget for the next 5 years will not change much from today. Plus 4 million comes off of the japan mistake this year also.

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