|How much is Sabathia Worth?|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on November 18, 2008
The scary thing is that it almost makes sense.Â While you could argue that Sabathia might not be as good a pitcher as Johan Santana or Jake Peavy, heâ€™s certainly close and still has room for improvement.
Since no comparable free agent pitcher has hit the market since the Giants got burned in the Barry Zito fiasco, the Johan Santana signing by the Mets last season is the yardstick that we will use to compare this offer.
When the Mets acquired Johan Santana last year they gave him a six year deal worth $137 million dollars or roughly $22.8 million per season which is on par with what the Yankees reputedly offered.Â However the Mets had to give up more than that, and had to acquire the rights to Santana by trade.Â They gave up some of the organizationâ€™s better prospects in addition to the cash making the real cost of that deal considerably more expensive than just money.
So is 140 million dollars overpaying?Â Or is it a bargain when compared to what the Mets really paid for Santana?Â Â Thatâ€™s the question upon which the whole free agent market is really resting.Â The Yankees have plenty of money as well as a record of vastly overpaying - something they can afford to do based upon their success and merchandising around the globe.
But other factors are at play too.Â The amount of the offer may signify that Sabathia, true to his word, would prefer to stay in the National League or at the very least go to play for a west coast team, as he has previously stated.Â Clearly if that is the case, and it isnâ€™t just posturing, then the Yankeesâ€™ offer makes a bit more sense since theyâ€™d have to overcome his reluctance to both location and league.
It also makes sense when you consider that the Yankees are a little bit desperate after watching the Rays rise and realizing that at the moment they are probably only the third best team in the American League East.Â With a new ballpark set to open in April and coming on the heels of a disappointing season the Yankees have reason to overwhelm top free agents.
But is Sabathia worth $140 million over six seasons?Â Â With his Bartolo Colon like physique, injury is a real risk, but for the Yankees not signing him or losing him to other competition could be worse.