Everyone in and around the game expects CC Sabathia to return to the Bronx despite the fact that he has an opt-out in his contract, but if he is willing to skip town the Texas Rangers appear to be poised to offer him a big contract, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York.
“I hear (Texas is) going to throw a boatload of money at (Sabathia),” said the source told ESPN NY, who requested anonymity, “But I think he’ll stay with the Yankees. He’s talked so much about how much he loves New York, and besides, the Yankees can’t afford to lose him from that pitching staff.”
That’s the biggest difference between CC’s current pending opt-out and Alex Rodriguez‘s from a few years back – there is a market for Sabathia where there wasn’t for A-Rod. This is going to force the Yankees to handle the situation much differently.
Where they could hold a hard line back then (or at least pretended to), they can’t do that today. Sabathia is still owed four-years and $92 million, at a minimum it seems like he can tack on an extra 2-3 years at his $23 million per year rate.
The Yankees certainly can’t really afford to let Sabathia walk. As much as some fans would like to see them hold a hardline against him, it really isn’t practical with a rotation full of question marks. There is also the lack of a clear ace-caliber pitcher on the open market this year or next which means the Yankees need Sabathia now as much as ever.