CC in “The City?”

     CC Sabathia was recently, yesterday to be exact, offered the largest contract in baseball history for a guy that relies mostly on one arm.  Six years and $137.5 million dollars by the team with the deepest pockets, the New York Yankees.

     There is much risk in this, but do I blame the New York Yankees for wanting one of the best pitchers in the game?  No, not really.  There seem to be Sabathia detractors littered around certain message boards/comment sections, but one of their arguments isn’t much of an argument in my mind:  Sabathia’s playoff track record.  Even with his struggles in the playoffs, how many pitchers are better than CC?  I guess we can still have Santana at the top after having another great season.  But how many other pitchers are better than CC?  Zero?  One?  Who knows.  I thought that Josh Beckett was on par, maybe even better, but then CC went and had his second consecutive great season.  Beckett however, merely had an above average year. 

     CC Sabathia does something that a lot of people seem to forget is very important, he has become an integral part in helping his team reach the postseason.  And a team cannot win in the postseason, if they do not get there.  Some fail to realize this.  There may be some issues with Sabathia, maybe he does experience the butterflies during the playoffs.  But it could be because of the innings he has thrown as well.  Sabathia has been a workhorse each of the past two seasons, but not come through in the postseason.  Whether it be butterflies, or his body tiring, he has proven to be a great pitcher regardless.  If he does end up in New York, then the Yankees need to do things right.  They need to go get a spot starter, someone like Bartolo Colon last season, or they can promote someone internally here and there if needed (Ian Kennedy?).  But if Sabathia signs, then he needs to be relieved of a few starts during the year, to keep him rested if the playoffs happen to be a likely destination.  The Red Sox do an excellent job of giving their guys breaks throughout the year, due to an enormous amount of quality depth.  The Yankees have the resources, and I like to think, the smarts to follow this blueprint. 

     One thing that the detractors also point to, that actually might make sense is this; Sabathia has thrown a ton of innings the past few years.  So maybe the innings eating will catch up to him some.  Look, there is a lot of risk giving a single player, pitcher much more so, this type of contract.  Pitchers are more susceptible to career threatening injuries, and more likely to require surgery that will sideline them for a period of time, etc.  They are a risky proposition.  But Sabathia is unlike most pitchers, because of his enormous ability, his performance the past two seasons speaks for itself: 494 innings, 460 K’s, 96 walks, and roughly a 150 ERA+.  Truly incredible, but also truly taxing on one’s arm.  That being said, there was a time when pitchers used to throw a ton of innings and did not feel many ill effects.  So Sabathia could stay healthy too, and it would seem some would make too much a deal about this. 

     That much money for one pitcher has its negatives, but then again there is a reason that Sabathia is being offered that much money to begin with.  If the Yankees do ink a deal, then they would potentially have the best pitcher in baseball, and definitely one of the five best.  But no one can foresee any injuries, and “tiring out” is something realistic, but not inside our crystal ball either.  Sabathia makes the Yankees an instant contender, again, in the most difficult division in baseball.  And as much as it pains me to say it, the Yankees would be obtaining a pitcher that I wouldn’t mind having on my team (would not mind AT ALL), if we needed him as much.     



  1. mikeeff

    nice to know the yanks might be a contender again. silly me- i never realized they they weren’t.

    um…those “breaks” the sox gives out to their starters..i thought they were called injuries ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. joefromnewhampshire

    If the Yankees would have stayed put I don’t think they would have made the playoffs, but yes, they would have been in contention. I guess “serious contender” would have been better. So if they sign CC or a combo of a few others, then they get put back into the serious contender category. They do play in the toughest division in baseball.

    But the Sox are very generous with those “breaks.” And that is because of depth. Like Dice K, Beckett, they may not have needed time off, or as much time off anyway, but they didn’t take any chances, and they know that giving them a break is a good thing, as long as someone can step in and not be terrible. Most pitchers probably feel some kind of discomfort throughout a season.

  3. mikeeff

    yeah i was just busting your chops a bit–good piece.

    if CC can be great for even the 1st three years of his contract i’d be happy–but i mean great. i’m not worried about his post season performances either. he was over worked the tribe and treated like a rented mule by the brewers. i like the character and guts he showed by taking the ball everytime they asked him to- i know the yanks won’t be as cavalier with him, so if he can help get us to the PS, i think he will be a major positive in the PS as well. who knows-maybe even a-rod will give him some run support

  4. joefromnewhampshire

    Also, I am sure postseason performances can probably be attributed to “butterflies.” But the more CC gets the chance to pitch in those games, the more used to the situation he will become. But I wouldn’t count on ARod ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Elizabeth D

    Getting CC would be huge for the Yankees, especially if he has another great season. I wonder if they’re going to go after Peavy too?
    It’ll be interesting to see what the Sox do with Varitek, Teixiera, and possibly Derek Lowe.
    I think we have something like 50 million to play around with. Theo is being very secretive…

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Joe …

    I think the Yankees interest in CC Sabathia goes back to sometime in the middle of last season when Hank Steinbrenner was annoyed at how well Santana was pitchng for the NY Mets, while Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy were totally ineffective, and did not live up to all the advance billing on how great they were going be … After all, it was Hank who did want to make the trade for Santana, but was talked out of the deal by his brother Hal, and Brian Cashman … So, this is the reason, I think, the Yankees decided to knock every other team out of the water right from the beginning with the huge six-year / $140 Mllion offer to CC … The Yankees [Hank?] are showing all the other teams how serious they are about signing Sabathia, and will be willing to raise their offer to [maybe] $150 – $160 Million if need be !!! … My wish list is for the Yankees to sign: CC Sabathia; one other free-agent pitcher; Mark Teixeira; Bobby Abreu; and, Andy Pettitte … Those signings, along with healthy [full] seasons by Posada and Matsui will give the Yankees a much improved team in 2009, which should make for a very exciting pennant race in the AL East between the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and, even, the Blue Jays !!! … It will be a fun Baseball Season in 2009 !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  7. Elizabeth D

    So, for example, if the Yanks were to sign CC, all they’d have to do is give up some draft picks to the Brewers or something?

  8. mikeeff

    hey jimmy–good to see you-hope your autumn is going well. as much as i would love to have tex-it looks like we will have to forego that pleasure. i think we will be wishing bobby a fond goodbye as well. he’s not going to accept arbitration since he can get a 3 year deal from a number of teams. his D is awful but he’s good for .300 and 100 RBI somewhere along with 80 walks or so.

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