|Yankees Sign Much-Needed Ace|
Written by Adam Adkins (Contact & Archive) on December 15, 2008
After several weeks of speculation, months after Hank Steinbrenner guaranteed it would happen; CC Sabathia is a New York Yankee.
But that's not the story.¬† The story is, simply put: Seven Years, One-Hundred and Sixty-One Million Dollars.
It's the highest deal ever given to a pitcher, and the Yankees third player with a +100 million contract (the others being A Rod and Derek Jeter).¬† To be fair, it's reasonable to say that at this point in Sabathia's career that he's the one of the best free agent pitchers ever available, and the Yankees needed an ace.¬† They need one.¬† It's fact.¬† So, signing Sabathia was a no-brainer.
Now, I'm not saying that 7 and 161 was necessary, but if Buster Olney's report is true, the Yanks had to pay a 'New York surcharge', which was presumably another year and 20 million.
And... the opt-out clause.
You can look at this deal one of three ways.¬† 1, it's 7 and 161.¬† 2, it's 3 and about 70, or 3, it's something more than 7 and 161, assuming CC opts out and the Yankees re-sign him.¬†
The only part of this deal I dislike is the opt-out clause.¬† It basically means if Sabathia sucks or is injured in Year 2 or 3 of the deal he'll stay a Yank; if he's successful (a very high likelihood) he'll opt-out and become a Free Agent all over again.
But, let's ignore all of that (depressing, for a Yank fan) stuff.¬† Let's look at what the Yankees are getting in CC.
Simply put a durable, dependable and dominant pitcher.¬† CC has had, for the last three years, a K/9 or at least 8 and a BB/9 never higher than 2.5.¬† Those two peripherals mean the world.¬† Essentially, CC gets several outs a game by himself, via the strikeout, and he rarely allows batters to reach base via the walk.¬† You really can't ask for more than that.
Oh, and he throws a ton of innings, something the Yankees could really use.¬† His last three years he's thrown at least 192 innings, which is obviously quite a bit.¬†
One complaint about CC is that he falls apart in the playoffs.¬† He has been off in his last two postseason appearances, mostly because his teams those years, the Indians and Brewers, worked him like a stray dog and never let him rest.¬† Remember in 2007 how good Josh Beckett was during the postseason?¬† Yeah, Boston gave him September off and he barely broke 200 innings on the year.¬† Sabathia threw 241 innings that year, which was more than 45 innings above his previous year's total.
There's absolutely no evidence that says CC sucks in the postseason.¬† It's just lame-ass writers needing something to write about.
His performance ought to last at least through the 3 years he's guaranteed to be there.
To sum it up, the Yankees paid a wicked-high price, but they got their ace.¬† CC will be excellent in pinstripes.