Yankees Want to Keep Sabathia from Opting-Out

The Yankees don’t want CC Sabathia to opt-out of his contract and are apparently getting offers ready that are designed to keep him from doing that, according to George King of the NY Post.

“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 told the Post.

They apparently are looking to avoid offering him a seven or eight year deal by offering him five or six years with a raise on his average $23 million annual salary.

Cliff Lee currently earns $24 million per season or the highest average annual salary for a pitcher. So the Yankees may have to go as high as six-years and $144 million or higher to keep Sabathia from opting-out.

They would probably prefer a five-year $125 million deal, but that would probably be best case scenario at this point. Sabathia has the largest total contract for a pitcher at $161 million, hopefully he doesn’t expect them to top that.

The Yankees are in a bind here as Sabathia’s value to the organization has been so great and there are no pitchers on the free agent or trade market that even come close to the type of caliber that he represents. So they have to give him whatever it’ll take to get a deal done.

If the Yankees can’t keep Sabathia from opting-out it seems unlikely that he would return at all. They would simply be setting the bar for contract negotiations and even if another team outbid the Yankees it would not be by a significant amount. He’s talked so much about how much he likes it here, it’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is.

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3 Responses to Yankees Want to Keep Sabathia from Opting-Out

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    Perhaps the team will learn that there 2 things they should NEVER offer: an opt out clause or a no-trade clause. If they simply made it a matter of team policy, and publicized this, they would never be in a bind with players forcing them to bid against themselves. Since it's the NYY there are 2 inducements they'll offer to offset this policy: more money, this is the Yankees after all; and the chance to go to the post season every year, which no other team can claim, save possible Philadelphia for the next couple of years.

    • Fred says:

      Couldn't agree more. An all encompassing NTC elimination is probably out of reach, but this opt out madness certainly needs to end. Especially on very high end contracts like Arod's and Sabathia's.

      • David K. says:

        If they did the right thing with A-Rod, which is to jump for joy after he opted out, they wouldn't be stuck with his ridiculous contract. True, he helped us win in 2009 but we might have done it with different players, you don't know. Then again, going a different route might have won us championships in 2010 or 2011. If they opt out, we should let them walk, and go a different route. Keeping CC for the next 7 years will turn into a big mistake after just a year or two.