CC Sabathia has agreed to, in essence, forgo opting out in lieu of an extra year of guaranteed cash from the Yankees, with the chance to vest an option if his arm is still attached after 2016. From ESPN:
The total deal is for five years and $122 million, which is instead of the four years and $92 million remaining on his original contract. Sabathia, 31, will be paid $25 million in 2016, which is the final year of the new contract, the source said. The deal contains a vesting option for $25 million in 2017 with a $5-million buyout solely on the condition of his shoulder since the Yankees have some concern about a pre-condition. Sabathia, who also retains a hotel suite on trips, a no-trade provision and the right to buy tickets, will qualify for the vesting option as long as he spends less than 45 days on the disabled list with a shoulder injury in 2016.
To which I say: Bravo, Brian Cashman. Not only did he lock up their ace, but did so without going all Hank-on-ARod. And he did so three days after the World Series ended, before the opt-out strike time. Just tremendous. Great strategy, game plan and flawless execution.
We, meaning especially me, had serious fears that the team would panic and re-up the big guy to the tune of seven more years at $25M or so. But to simply extend the contract by a year, with a vesting option is a big win for the organization. It protects the team from committing to CC into his late 30’s while also guarding against injury. Injuries can happen any time, naturally, but it’s hard to come away from this news disappointed.
To CC: Thanks for being such a stand up guy, even taking less than the market might have otherwise borne out. He could have held the Yanks’ feet to the fire and likely taken them for much more. Or taken some other team for more. Instead, he proved that he’s been honest in claiming how much he loves the NYC metro area and this team. He did this to avoid the drama of free agency. And he also is showing that the Yanks remain a chosen destination and will hopefully be equally helpful in recruiting, if needed.
Well done, all around.