Sabathia Signs With Yankees

1:25pm: Sherman has more details on the Yankees’ talks with Sabathia.

12:49pm: Rosenthal talked to a rival exec who sees no upside to Sabathia’s opt-out clause.  I think it could benefit the Yankees if Sabathia performs decently in the third year but the Yanks do not feel he’ll be worth $92MM over the following four years.  But, opt-out clauses obviously favor the player.

10:50am: For the first time, Brewers GM Doug Melvin confirmed he offered five years and slightly more than $100MM to Sabathia.  Adding a sixth year was under serious consideration.  Tom Haudricourt also learned from Melvin that Sabathia wanted an opt-out clause no matter where he signed, and the Brewers were prepared to offer one.  Ken Rosenthal says the Brewers will not conduct a fire sale in the wake of Sabathia’s departure; Melvin intends to "scramble for pitching."

10:14am: Tim Brown and Gordon Edes of Yahoo report that the deal is for $161MM over seven years (which would top Johan’s average annual value). 

The deal has an opt-out clause after the first three years, which are worth $69MM.  The 31 year-old Sabathia will make his opt-out decision after the 2011 season with four years, $92MM remaining on the deal.  He would have to buck the opt-out trend (or renegotiate) to make this more than a three-year, $69MM deal for the Yankees.  That is not necessarily a bad thing for them.

8:07am: Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the deal is seven years for approximately $160MM – the fourth largest in MLB history.  If that’s the exact amount it’s a hair under the average annual value of Johan Santana‘s deal.

7:53am: According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, C.C. Sabathia has chosen to accept the Yankees offer after his latest meeting with Brian Cashman.  The news first came in around 3:36am CST.

After three straight days of face-to-face meetings between GM Brian Cashman and Sabathia, the big lefty decided he wants to spend the next six years of his career as a Yankee. The decision came late last night after Cashman flew to see Sabathia at his home in San Francisco. By the time the meeting was concluded, Sabathia had informed the Yankees that he had made his decision to call New York his baseball home, the Post has learned.

Sherman says the deal is not finalized and that there are still "minor hurdles" to overcome. Sherman does not mention if the final offer was any different than the original six-year, $140MM offer or if the contract will require an opt-out clause as was previously speculated.

Cork Gaines writes for and can be reached hereTim Dierkes also contributed to this post.

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