Heyman’s Sabathia Suitors

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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