Yankees sign CC to one-year deal

November 6th, 2018

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia had hoped to finish his career in Yankees pinstripes, and the big left-hander will have that opportunity, as Sabathia and the club have signed a one-year, $8 million deal.

Like outfielder , who agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million pact last week, Sabathia had expressed a strong preference for staying with New York. General manager Brian Cashman said that the team's familiarity with the veterans cleared the way for smooth negotiations.

"Since we know the players, we know what we're getting," Cashman said in Carlsbad, Calif. "First and foremost, we feel like they're productive players and they can have a positive impact on that win column for us. ... These are known commodities. We know exactly who they are in that clubhouse, who they are dealing with, our press and our fans, and obviously, most importantly, competing on the field of play. That would be the more vital component."

Though three other clubs are believed to have reached out to the 38-year-old Sabathia, his preference was to remain with the Yanks, for whom he has pitched since 2009. Sabathia earned $10 million this past season.

Sabathia has notched 129 of his 246 career victories with New York, and he has compiled a 3.74 ERA in 284 starts with the franchise. This past season, Sabathia was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts, striking out 140 in 153 innings while posting his lowest ERA since 2012 (3.38).

Cashman said that he intends to add "multiple" arms to a rotation that now features Sabathia, and as locks heading into 2019.

"In CC's case, we have multiple needs in that area," Cashman said. "If we were ready to promote three more Severinos, then I wouldn't be looking in acquisition mode for starting pitching. I'd be saying goodbye to people probably, moreso than not."

Though Sabathia had suggested that he might retire if the Yankees won the World Series in 2018, their elimination in the American League Division Series left no question of his desire to return.

Sabathia underwent a cleanup procedure on his right knee following the season but is expected to be ready to pitch next year. He had similar procedures after the 2010 season, in July 2014 and after the '16 season.

The Yanks have been in contact with the representative for J.A. Happ, who pitched well after being acquired from the Blue Jays in late July. They are also expected to be in the mix for free-agent hurlers , and , as well as trade possibilities.

"We're going to engage every free agent in the marketplace and assess their price tags and how they may fit for us," Cashman said. "We'll see."

Cashman reiterated that he plans to trade before the start of the season, believing that the right-hander will be unable to approach his past success while pitching in New York.

"It's been a year and a half," Cashman said. "I'm not going to be Sisyphus pushing the rock up a hill and having it roll back on top of me. It's not working. I'm not going to be willing to continue to walk through the fire and expect it to be a different result.

"So I will reallocate his abilities to some other club for a yet-to-be determined price tag, and he will be good again. Trust me. I believe that, honestly. I think he's a heck of a pitcher. The peripherals prove that. He was a very likable teammate. He's a very successful Major Leaguer, and it's just going to happen somewhere else."