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.