Stay or Go: Should the Yankees re-sign CC Sabathia?

CC Sabathia‘s knee injury was at its worst about three years ago when he managed just a 5.28 ERA in 46 innings during the 2014 season.¬†However, by the 2016 season the big guy seemed to put the major injury behind him and put together an impressive finish as he posted a 2.37 ERA in his final eight starts.

The 2017 season, where Sabathia finished with a 3.69 ERA and a 122 ERA+, showed that he definitely is no longer an ace, but he’s definitely a useful piece. Consider that Sabathia had a 2.37 ERA in four playoffs starts this year. Also consider that he had a 1.71 starts in 10 appearances following a Yankee loss.¬†If he could replicate his numbers from 2017, he would certainly be a valuable asset for the 2018 Yankees.

Does he fit on the roster? The Yankees have Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery ready to be penciled in next year. So they definitely have room for one more veteran. With the team looking to get under the luxury tax threshold, the Yankees could look to Sabathia as a way to save money.

Sabathia is a free agent for the first time since the Yankees signed him prior to the 2009 season. He initially signed a seven-year and $161 million contract, but later added an extension that tacked on two years at a $25 million annual average.

The Yankees would likely want to bring him back on a one-year deal a la Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda, but the question becomes at what price do the two sides agree upon. $25 million is certainly too high, but CC will obviously resist a paycut and the $16 million deal Kuroda signed in 2014 may be too low for him.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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9 Responses to Stay or Go: Should the Yankees re-sign CC Sabathia?

  1. Nunzio says:

    CC Sabathia should be free to sign with any other club but the Yankees…..We have seen enough of Cc through the years and at his best he was very good but now is now his big frame and his knee saw his best years it’s time to replace the knee and the man….. good luck CC but the future is now you played for a contact extension for 2018, how good will you be a year older on that knee .

    • Steve S. says:

      I pretty much agree. He's a risk with that knee and if he wants big bucks, forget it. Besides there are others waiting in the wings. Adams deserves a shot now and Acevedo could come quick. There are others as well. Also they're talking about giving Green another shot to start, although I think he's better suited to the pen. He's no Severino who can maintain his stuff well into the late innings.

  2. Ollie says:

    If the Yanks could get him on a 1 year deal why not sign him. He pitched unreal when they needed him in the big games, and with that strong bull-pen??

  3. gcorcoran says:

    If they get Otani then no way. He needs to be in the rotation. If they don't get Otani then they need to do some real soul searching. Do they want to be the same type of team to bring Kuroda back year after year on one year contracts, or do they want to be the type of team to get their prospects involved. They have multiple players ready to step into that 5th starter role. Chad Green, Chance Adams, and Domingo German are there already. Domingo Acevedo, Justus Sheffield, Brody Koerner, and others are also right behind them. Personally, I'd rather see them allocate their financial resources elsewhere.

    • I doubt it's an either or situation when it comes to CC and Ohtani. Ohtani's contract would barely count against the tax threshold, and they're unlikely to sign CC to beyond a 1 year deal. You can never have too much pitching depth. Most, and potentially all, of the pitchers you mentioned will get a start in the Bronx next year.

      • gcorcoran says:

        One thing to consider, whoever gets Otani may go with a six man rotation anyway. In that case Sabathia would be ideal, and at his age would benefit from the extra rest. Tanaka also pitches better on extra rest.

        All of that said, I still think Sabathia is blocking some good prospects and I don't see him replicating his success from this past season. There were a lot of dicey moments and I don't think his playoff performance was as good as advertised. He always taxes the bullpen and is no longer a guy who can go deep into games like he used to. He'd have to be a real bargain for me to sign him, or on an incentive-laden deal.

        • Jerry says:

          It seems strange that Chance Adams hasn't had a call up to the majors yet. I would like him to at least have gotten his feet wet. When other pitchers have bounced in and out a few times. They don't think he's ready, he walks too many, I don't know. Could be why they are looking at Chad Green to start. I would still sign Sabathia, only at a reasonable price, so if he's done, it's not too painful, or if we decide Adams or Sheffield or anyone else is ready , pushing him aside is not too costly. And it seems more than ever you need lots of pitching. They always seem to be hurt.

  4. Balt Yank says:

    I think we need youth and the options are plentiful: Chance Adams, Warren, Chad Green, Cessa, Bryan Mitchell. I hope the next manager makes 6 innings the default standard for young pitchers with a hope for seven+. The bullpen is good but oversuing them blew a few playoff games and several in-season games too.

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