Before CC Sabathia could even catch a whiff of the free agent market, he and the Yankees agreed on a contract extension last night that guarantees he will remain in pinstripes through 2016 and makes him the highest paid pitcher in baseball history. Bravo!
Since arriving in the Bronx three years ago, Sabathia has been clear on his fondness of the city of New York and the comfort of which the team and players have bestowed upon him and his family. He's said in the past that his intentions were to retire a Yankee, and yesterday evening, he made good on that intention. None of us fanatics would have blamed him for opting out of his already lucrative contract, in fact, I'm not sure if I know anyone who didn't believe that he would do so. We were all prepared for it, but I believe we all knew that the Yankees would do whatever it took to keep in the fold.
But of course, not all contracts are completely set up in the best interest of the player, and CC's is no exception. Here are the terms via Joel Sherman last night on twitter:
- CC gets a guaranteed $30 million pay raise (going from the 4yrs, $92 million left on his original contract to 5 yrs, $122 million).
- The contract includes a vesting option for 2017; the option is worth $25 million.
- The option year will only vest if CC remains healthy through the end of 2016. If he suffers a left shoulder injury, spends 45 days on the disabled list, makes at least 6 relief appearances due to shoulder issues or is disabled at the end of the 2016 season, he will only receive a $5million buyout.
All in all, CC got a fair contract and the Yankees were able to protect themselves via the terms of the vesting option. CC will have to do his part to stay healthy, and as he says in the above video, losing weight is a priority.
It would have been a little scary to watch CC go into free agency, but I was kind of looking forward to seeing what other teams would have been willing to pay the big guy for his services.
So, now that the Brian Cashman and Sabathia deals have been locked up, the Yankees can spend the remainder of their offseason trying to secure a viable starting pitcher. Did I mention that the Yankees exercised their 2012 options on Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano? No? Well shame on me. Yes, both players will be back in pinstripes next year. Swish I'm sure breathed a sigh of relief, although, with him remaining on the payroll, the Yankees are now in a position to trade him; Cano...probably not too thrilled that his hopeful request for a new contract was never seriously entertained. I would think he had to expect that though, really.
Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter:@ra_cooper