Yankees Should Let CC Walk

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Photo by Michael G. Baron

The Yankees have a lot to change if they want to still be playing baseball this time next year. They are an old team, that is just getting older. Most people around baseball believe the ace of the staff CC Sabathia will opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Sabathia signed a 7yr/$161M contract in 2009, which would have him signed through the 2015 season.

The Yankees have a history of signing guys to large ridiculous contracts– take Mr. Clutch Alex Rodriguez for example. In 2008, at age 33 the Yankees signed Rodriguez to a 10yr/$275M. His performance in the regular season is already declining at age 36, and with the exception of the 2009 post season,  he has never perfomed in October.

If and when Sabathia opts out, the Yankees must let him walk. He is already 31 years old and signed for four more years, taking him to age 35. The 6’9″ left-hander is generously listed at   290 pounds, he is a big guy, who has never been in good shape. Extending any player through age 35 is silly, especially a pitcher. For CC, his next pitch could be his last.

If CC decides that $92.5M over the next four years is too little, then the Yankee brain trust have to move on. In fact, they could look at it as a positive, freeing up $23M a year, which they could reinvest in other parts of the team.

Maybe the Yankees decide to use that $23M a year and find a new right fielder, catcher or DH. Maybe it is time to gamble with the farm system, trust Nova and Hughes, bring in a couple veterans, and allow Banuelos, Brackman and Betances to compete for 1-2 rotation spots. But to allow CC to continue the trend of players taking advantage of the Yankees deep pockets, is to set a standard in which players will freely opt out, knowing they can always rely back on the Yankees.

Let CC know that if he walks, he is gone. If he stays they have their ace, and just until the age of 35. And if he goes, then he will be another teams problem at the age of 38.


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