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.