SI.com's Jon Heyman believes C.C. Sabathia's three most likely landing spots next winter are the Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants, in that order.
While Sabathia/Tim Lincecum/Matt Cain would be nasty, I can't see the Giants doing another $100MM+ pitching contract. Then again, I didn't see them as a top suitor for Aaron Rowand this winter.
Let's take a look at some other possibilities for C.C. I agree that the Yanks and Dodgers will be top contenders.
- Blue Jays - An A.J. Burnett replacement? Not likely; the Jays don't have a ton of money coming off the books beyond Burnett. And Roy Halladay's salary increases by $4.25MM.
- Mets - They seem more likely to go after Mark Teixeira, though they could lose Pedro and Oliver Perez after this year.
- Red Sox - Can't count 'em out. They'll probably at least check in.
- Rays - A .500 run this year, followed by a major free agent splash for a contending '09 team? Would be fun, but I expect them to be more fiscally responsible.
- Tigers - Adding Sabathia to replace Kenny Rogers could be the icing on the cake of a very good team. Will depend on how Verlander/Willis/Bonderman/Robertson hold up this year.
- Royals - Long shot, though Dayton Moore has shown a willingness to spend some bucks on free agents. Could this be his version of the Braves' Maddux signing?
- Angels - I think they'll be in the mix; Garland is a free agent and Escobar has question marks.
- Phillies - Would be an interesting way for the new GM to introduce himself. Burrell leaving means $14MM off the books, though many have rising salaries for '09. Plus the closer job will be open.
- Cubs - Many Cubs' players' salaries increase significantly in '09. Zambrano by $2.75MM, Ramirez by $1.65MM, Soriano by $3MM, Fukudome by $5.5MM, Lilly by $5MM, Marquis by $3.5MM. That's over $20 mil right there, and for that reason I don't see it.
- Astros - This seems a fair possibility; they've shown a willingness to give out huge deals. They could be faced with $10MM in increases on current players, though, so it would require a major payroll increase.
- I don't see any other clubs that would entertain a $100MM+ contract. Thoughts?
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