Sabathia’s Competition

C.C. Sabathia said this morning that he does not intend to opt out of his contract, but stopped short of guaranteeing a return to the Bronx next year. The left-hander can exercise an opt-out clause in his contract and hit free agency after the season if he and his agent see the opportunity for a better deal on the open market. 

Sabathia appears to like New York – he has certainly pitched well since donning pinstripes – so there's no guarantee that he opts out. But we can be reasonably sure of one thing: he won't have much competition from free agent starters if he does choose to explore free agency again. Here's a look at some of the other starters who will be available after the coming season:

It would be hard to fault Sabathia for staying put. The Yankees win and $92MM is a lot of money. But Sabathia has averaged a 3.27 ERA, 234 innings, 197 strikeouts and 20 wins in two seasons as a Yankee. Another similar campaign would put Sabathia in position to obtain more guaranteed money, especially considering the shortage of aces likely to be available in free agency.


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148 Comments on "Sabathia’s Competition"


The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 6 months ago

Mark Buerhle, lost all respect of him for his Michael Vick comment. It would be ironic if gets injured this year.

4 years 6 months ago

Buerhle gained my respect for his comments… I felt the same way when the egulls were playing…

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 6 months ago

So I can say I hope Buerhle has a career ending injury?

4 years 6 months ago

Buerhle was right about Vick the Miserable ghetto punk should be tied to one of his own “rape tables ” back in prison

Yankee_Baal
4 years 6 months ago

Sure, Buehrle is terrible… Vick on the other hand is a saint, he only killed dogs ¬¬ you prick

stl_cards16
4 years 6 months ago

Wainwright’s option became garaunteed with the Cy Young voting.

bosox21
4 years 6 months ago

Thank you for bringing this thread back to baseball.

wickedkevin
4 years 6 months ago

The only team that will overpay the Yankees for CC is the Yankees.

dgirton88
4 years 6 months ago

CC would be mediocre on many teams. He is lucky to play for such a good offense. Put him in King Felix’s spot last year and he would barely hit ten wins.

4 years 6 months ago

Mediocre on many teams? Are you delusional?

The guy is the definition of an ACE, in the A.L. East non the less. He’s been nothing short of stellar for years now. Please tell me one team outside of the Phillies, Giants, and Mariners where he wouldn’t be the best pitcher on that staff?

Mediocre? Child please.

dgirton88
4 years 6 months ago

Ill name 5 teams. St Louis, Florida, Boston, Colorado, heck ill say Johan and the new york mets for number 5.

phoenix2042
4 years 6 months ago

ridiculous. CC is better than Johan, especially with his injuries lately. I would say that CC is just as good as wainwright. his ERA is worse, blah blah. Wainwright pitches in the NL central, weakest division in baseball. CC pitches in the AL east, hardest division in baseball. Don’t believe me? Look at what CC did in the NL central with the Brewers in 2008.

4 years 6 months ago

Hmm sorry I think im missing something.

Where are Wainwright/johnson/beckett/lester/buchholtz/jimenez cy young awards? and isnt Johan out until july?

Also Carpenter is injury prone, and older right? I would take Sabathia over him any day.

dgirton88
4 years 6 months ago

CC won a cy last season? Cause i remember him not winning one. I dont care what he did years ago. I care about what a pitcher can do for me NOW, and CC is showing signs of not being the best anymore. Hes good but hes not a top 10 pitcher. Id take JJ, Lee, Doc, Hamels, Felix, Wainwright, Carp, Price, Hudson, Jimenez, Timmy, Cahill, maybe a few others over him next season if he opted out.

4 years 6 months ago

You know you went from calling him mediocre to calling him good, right?

I mostly agree with you, but Cahill and Hudson have absolutely no business being on that list. They’re not even the best pitchers on their respective teams.

4 years 6 months ago

Must have missed the boston pitcher in that list!

Josh johnson is good but young, again he wasnt even in the running for cy young last year. Lee? ok thats understandable. Doc? yea makes sense. Hamels? You kidding me? really? guy had one good bounce back year and no cy youngs and has never won 20 games with the philly offense?!?! Price had one good season, needs to show me more, hudson is getting older and hasnt won 20 games, jimenez had a breakout last year and I would put him close to CC, lincecum alright same category although he showed a decline last season in terms of reg season. Cahill? again way too young.

I would put CC as one of hte top 5 pitchers in baseball, with doc/hernandez/lee and either lincecum or hernandez.

CC is a durable workhouse and perenniel cy young contender. Not everyone on that list can say that.

wickedkevin
4 years 6 months ago

Jon Lester.

Crackis4lovers
4 years 6 months ago

Thank you!

4 years 6 months ago

I agree lester should be on that list, but he said red sox in the team that sabathia wouldnt be the ace on, but when listing pitchers left out the red sox. Thats all I was saying there.

4 years 6 months ago

Wainwright finished in the top three in cy young voting the last two years. The only way his option cannot be initiated is if he gets injured. However, the Cardinals should pick up his option regardless of whether he gets injured this year or not. They are getting a bargain.

CitizenSnips
4 years 6 months ago

CC’s a very solid pitcher but take away that offense and he’s not really that dominant. His durability keeps him in games not his stuff.

Jason_F
4 years 6 months ago

Funny how his slider, according to fangraphs, grades out as the best one in baseball over the past 5 years and his changeup is 4th best in that time frame. Not to mention, his fastball averages between 93-94 mph. Sounds like his “stuff” is just fine to me.

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

nope.

0bsessions
4 years 6 months ago

Even as someone who finds him vastly overrated by Yankees fans, one cannot deny that he IS dominant and a legitimate staff ace. I wouldn’t place him in the MLB’s top ten pitchers right now, but his offense has little to do with it as it’s not just his wins compiling.

Now, one could argue that being a left spending half his games at NYS helps him a bit, but it’s not that dramatic a difference. Elite? Maybe, maybe not, but he’s definitely a great pitcher.

MB923
4 years 6 months ago

The only thing that an offense has an impact on for a pitcher is their W-L. Stupid argument.

4 years 6 months ago

You accidentally posted this, just so you’re aware.

Jason_F
4 years 6 months ago

Wow, then I guess it’s a good thing that smart people don’t judge pitchers by how many wins they accumulate. It sure is nice to have stats that don’t take into consideration the offensive support a pitcher receives. Wait, you haven’t heard of those?

Crackis4lovers
4 years 6 months ago

I’m a Red Sox fan and that’s just so, so foolish. He’s one of the top 5-10 starters in baseball. Period.

0bsessions
4 years 6 months ago

Top fifteen, almost definitely, but top ten is surely debateable.In 2010, he was:Thirteenth in the MLB in WAR.26th in the MLB in FIP.24th in the MLB in xFIP.22nd in the MLB in ERA (For qualifying starters)14th in the MLB in ERA for starters logging 200 IP or more.As I said, he’d a great pitcher, but I’d say he misses the top ten right now. Above him, I’d probably rank RIGHT NOW (In no particular order): Halladay, Hernandez, Lester, Price, Lee, Weaver, Verlander, Lincecum, Wainright and Oswalt with a maybe on Jiminez, Kershaw, Cain and Hamels.

This post correction was brought to you by Delorean.

4 years 6 months ago

“In 2011, he was…”

Biff Tannen, give back that sports almanac.

0bsessions
4 years 6 months ago

I also would’ve accepted:

Helloooo? McFly?!

4 years 6 months ago

I thought I’d be all cool and use a name that less people would recognize.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 6 months ago

I typed up a whole post and am waiting for it to be approved but in addressign what you just said, it is WAYYYYY short-sighted to point to 2011 and say how good a pitcher or player is or isn’t. In the post I wrote CC ranked top 8 in GS, IP, FIP, WAR, K/9, HR/9, SO, WHIP, SHO, CG and WINS from 2001-2010. THAT’S an ace. Ranking him for 2010 when you have possible “flash in the pans” like Cahill, Latos and others seems like a complete lack of understanding of what an ace is and I would expect more from you dude. That’s like me saying Beckett is a horrible pitcher just based off of what he did in 2010 or calling Buchholz a true ace based upon what he did last year as well.

0bsessions
4 years 6 months ago

Of the ten pitchers I said are better, I only one who hasn’t put up great numbers the last two years. The 2001-2010 thing is the essential opposite end of the spectrum in that WAR, IP, GS, SO, SHO, CG are all dependent upon time accrued. Going by 2001-2010 statistics gives an unfair advantage to guys like Sabathia compared to guys like Lester or Lincecum.

Sabathia’s one of the best pitchers of the last decade, but right now, he’s probably somewhere between 10-15/20 in terms of pitchers currently active. The basic statement being refuted is the idea that Sabathia would be the ace on most other teams, which is not necessarily the case.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 6 months ago

Haha…ok. How short-sighted do you want to go?

Last 3 years w/ 300 IP min

FIP- #5
WAR-#5
GS- #1
IP-#2
CG-#3
SHO-#2
K/9- #30
Total SO-#2
Wins-#2

The only thing that CC hasn’t done over the last 3 years is not be among the top in K/9 and partly is because he’s used his CH which induces a lot more GB. He also realized that he doesn’t have to strike out guys to be effective so long as he can strike out when he needs to (MISP).

Unless you use 2010 alone, then I don’t know how anyone can not view CC as one of the 10 best. The fact that you put Price, Weaver, Cain, Jiminez and Hamels ahead of CC indicate that you really are putting a HIGH emphasis on 2010 since it was the first “ace like” seasons for Weaver, Price, Jiminez, etc.

Crackis4lovers
4 years 6 months ago

Felix Hernandez, in Felix Hernandez’ spot barely hit 10 wins last year.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 6 months ago

Any pitcher pitching for the M’s would barely hit 10 wins simply because the team can’t score runs. Saying CC would struggle to get 10 when Felix struggled to get 13 isn’t saying much. Many below have already covered why CC is far better than a medoicre pitcher. Get your head out your @ss.

captainjeter
4 years 6 months ago

if he opts out ,let him go elsewhere. All we need is another A Rod deal choking us.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

so you’re okay with hughes as your ace?

rockfordone
4 years 6 months ago

He’s going no where – can we move on to real stories

CitizenSnips
4 years 6 months ago

CC’s definitely staying. No way any other team will pay $23 million for 3.3 ERA ball. His rubber arm is the only plus side.

nhsox
4 years 6 months ago

Exactly. And who’s to say the Yankees won’t pay him more than that if they’re desperate?

4 years 6 months ago

I hope he opts out, only to cost the yankees more money. Or hell, maybe he will go to the nationals! I mean yea unrealistic but could you imagine him and strasburg on the same rotation? Would be good, and they have shown a willingness to spend money.

4 years 6 months ago

If St. Louis can’t sign Pujols… there is a whole lotta money available to make that rotation solid.

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

Whole lot of money available with no one to spend it on

Muggi
4 years 6 months ago

Yep, horrible offseason to be shopping for TOR starters.

4 years 6 months ago

Sorry, I thought you were replying to someone else and it won’t let me erase the comment. My bad :/

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 6 months ago

You can scratch Kuroda off that list. All indications are that he intends to return home after this season. As for him being “not as dominant” as Sabathia, I’d suggest setting their stat lines side by side and comparing. Kurdoda isn’t as flashy, and of course he doesn’t wear pinstripes, but he paces Sabathia in nearly every other category.

4 years 6 months ago

Hard to see Buehrle playing for any team but the White Sox.

bklyn56
4 years 6 months ago

If Sabathia opps out which I dont think he will ….It would have to be motivated by ego & greed. Personally to walk away from a guaranteed 92 million? How much more money would he need to live. CC loves N.Y. He built a home there. He’s involved in the community. Has done many good charible things for many people. I don’t see him as a type of guy who needs the prestige of making the most money in baseball.
He & his family are set up for generations. He loves playing in N.Y. He’s got it made & I’m sure he knows it. He’s already indicated he doesn’t want to leave. The media is making a mountain out of a molehill as usual. I know we’re all starving for baseball news but this is a situation thats already been put to bed. Leave this guy along so he can concentrate on what he does best. Pitch us to another championship. God Bless you & your family CC.
Here’s to another year of good baseball from one of the classiest dudes in the game.

4 years 6 months ago

Wow talk about rose colored glasses lol

bklyn56
4 years 6 months ago

Is an opinion considered rose colored if its not critical of the individual being discussed?
If we were talking about A-Rod or Albert Pujols I could see your point.
You have to look at the way players project themselves to the public.
I’m not an expert judge of character by any stretch of the imagination but CC doesnt project himself that way. True he took more money to play in N.Y.
By the same token he made the best of his free agency which is his right.
He’s planted his roots so to speak. He lives there year round not just during the season. He’s once again involved in the community. He seems very happy.
I understand about a player being honored by being the highest paid at his position
but again I dont think its about that with him. If he does opt out then and I’ll stand corrected & then his stock will be in the toilet with all the N.Y. fans.
Again this is just my opinion.

4 years 6 months ago

What is rose colored is refusing to believe that he will opt out for a chance to make more money, which if history is any indicator, he very well may do. Remember that he at first didn’t want to pitch for NY, but did it anyway in all likelihood because NY offered the most. Sabathia is a consistent proven ace and could be the only pitcher of that caliber next hot stove season so he stands to make another big pay day. Given his history, you are deluding yourself if you think he won’t consider finding more money, whether it’s from the Yankees or from someone else.

Just because a player builds a house somewhere and takes an active role in the community doesn’t mean he can’t do that somewhere else. You’re setting yourself up for a let down if you think that he won’t opt out, because he “seems happy”. He would probably seem happier with an additional 50 mil in guaranteed money.

0bsessions
4 years 6 months ago

“If Sabathia opps out which I dont think he will ….It would have to be motivated by ego & greed.”

Like that time he disregarded his alleged desire to pitch on the West Coast in order to pull down the truckloads of money the Yankees offered him.

Let’s get one thing straight: Sabathia wouldn’t even be pitching for NY, much less loving pitching for NY, if they didn’t offer him about 25% more than the next highest suitor.

4 years 6 months ago

Of course Sabathia is going to say now that he won’t opt out next season. Imagine how badly he would be received by Yankees fans this year if he said at the beginning of the season he was going to ditch them? You can’t even say anything negative about the Yankees farm system without 10 hundred Yankee fan jackals attacking you, let alone be the ace of a thin staff who would admit that he is interested in bailing on them after the season. Sounds like lip service to me.

Fangaffes
4 years 6 months ago

“Imagine how badly he would be received by Yankees fans this year if he said at the beginning of the season he was going to ditch them?”

About as badly as Papelbon is being received in Boston?

4 years 6 months ago

Exactly. Boston fans have been up in arms ever since he started all of that talk about setting the mark for closers. Sabathia is smart enough to not talk his way out of town before the time comes. Papelbon is the real life version of Kenny Powers. Do the math.

4 years 6 months ago

I’ve always thought of Papelbon as more of a Nuke LaLoosh.

4 years 6 months ago

lol except nuke was able to figure out how to “say the right things” by the time he got up to the bigs at the end of the movie. I like the comparison before that though!

4 years 6 months ago

And anyone that says Sabathia isn’t a top tier starter can’t be very knowledgeable about the game. The guy has consistently proven himself every season. He might not have the best stat line but you know what you can expect out of him and that has a ton of value.

0bsessions
4 years 6 months ago

“He might not have the best stat line but you know what you can expect out of him and that has a ton of value. ”

I know what I can expect out of Gustavo Chacin (That being an ERA around 5 and a violent outburst every so often), but I wouldn’t exactly call that indicative of his value.

4 years 6 months ago

Well you are twisting my words and not understanding what I wrote. Obviously having a pitcher that you “expect” to be able to a 5+ ERA every season isn’t very valuable. But signing a pitcher that you can trust to pitch you to a decent low-3 ERA and deep into games year after year is very valuable and brings stability to your rotation.

I like to think of consistency at a high level as being the hardest thing to accomplish in the game, or really in any sport. There are a thousand flash in the pan players who get lucky every season in every sport. But the truly great players are the ones who do it year in and year out. Players that can do that are valuable no matter how much you have to pay them (within reason of course). Sabathia has proven that he is that caliber of player for the most part to this point in his career.

4 years 6 months ago

Buehrle is gonna retire at age 32? That’s strange… If I’m John Mozeliak, I’d sign Buehrle and decline the option on Carp (or try to restructure). I’d also be telling Albert that he has to meet me halfway. If the Cardinals are truly offering $30MM or more per year for 7 years, he should take it. No one is going to give him 10 years.

tony_mciv
4 years 6 months ago

Enough about CC for now, how about Yu Darvish? I remember watching him dominate during the last WBC… his stuff looked good.
Wonder who he’ll end up playing for in 2012… Probably the Yankees.

4 years 6 months ago

Dice-K was pretty good in the WBC too.

tony_mciv
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, but I’m talking about a new Japanese pitcher making the transition from Japan to MLB.
Dice-K has already done that.
His best season over here was 2007, and that was his first year here. Here’s hoping for a good transition for Darvish! …Unless he signs with a team I dislike :p

Fangaffes
4 years 6 months ago

Better check those stats again.

MB923
4 years 6 months ago

How was his 07 season better than this 08?

tony_mciv
4 years 6 months ago

I saw the 2008 campaign after I posted. Sorry… 08 was better then 07. Sorry.

MB923
4 years 6 months ago

Actually on Fangraphs, he had a higher WAR in 07 than in 08 (3.9 to 3.3). His BB rate went up and his K went down, but his ERA was over a run and a half lower. I’d still take his 08 season over his 07

Plus I hate using FanGraphs WAR for pitchers. After all, it ranked Lee and Verlander ahead of Felix last year. Felix was clearly the best pitcher in the AL. At least B-R WAR had him ranked first in all of baseball, which is debatable between him and Halladay but it’s not really something I can complain about.

Felix.

MB923
4 years 6 months ago

Actually I’m wrong on B-R WAR. Felix wasn’t best in all of baseball, he was just the best in the AL.

Jimenez, Halladay and Johnson had a higher WAR than Felix.

4 years 6 months ago

My point is that no matter how dominant a Japanese pitcher looks, or how hyped he is, that it’s no sure thing that success in NPB or WBC will translate over to ML baseball in equal amounts.

tony_mciv
4 years 6 months ago

Oh yeah I know that, and it’s a good point.
My point is that if Darvish has the kind of transition year that Dice-K had, which involved winning a WS and winning 15 gms, that would be fine with me. I’m looking at Dice-K’s stats now, and I know that not all of the Japanese players are going to have the same carry over, but it should make for an interesting 2012 season. Where ever he ends up.

4 years 6 months ago

And I’m also not saying that Darvish will be a complete bust, for the right money he could be a good deal, hell he may even be a great success here. You just can’t tell until he actually has been here for a few seasons (duh)…it’s just not a given he’ll be a solid ML pitcher. Dice-K had rave reviews from scouts from around the majors, but whether it has been tougher competition, bad attitude, lack of conditioning, lack od adjustments, etc. he just has never lived up to the hype.

Commander_Nate
4 years 6 months ago

Dude would look good with a halo on his cap. Plus, after the Vernon Wells trade, I don’t think there is any doubt about Arte Moreno willing to take big risks with his money. Angels have 2 rotation spots opening up after this season too…

tony_mciv
4 years 6 months ago

My only issue is that Dice-K’s contract is outrageous. 50mil just to talk to him, and signing him for 51mil? Plus the bonuses are just… nevermind.

I think it would be good for the Angels to sign him. Then there could be a huge hype over the first Seattle Angels game 😉

Commander_Nate
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, it would be expensive, but the posting fee is paid all at once, so from what I understand, the only long-term commitment would be his actual contract. For a marketing guy like Moreno, who already tasted a bit of Japanese market exposure with Matsui, signing arguably the biggest celebrity in Japan might seem like a good investment; not so much in terms of money coming back (although there would be some), but in terms of growing his brand.

4 years 6 months ago

CC’s agent and the Yanks will work out an extension that keeps him from opting out and looking like a bad guy. They’ll add a few more years at the same avg amount he’s making now and call it a day.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
4 years 6 months ago

That’s what I figured. My bet is 3 years $23M a year would get it done.

Alex
4 years 6 months ago

Oswalt has a mutual option with a guaranteed payout if he opts out. Thus, its most likely, unless he has a very poor season, a player option. Though older, he could be a legit competitor to CC, especially considering he would take a lesser commitment of overall years. He’d probably be looking for something like 3/60 which would be attractive to more teams then CC at 6/140 for example.

Lee Steva
4 years 6 months ago

If not for being on some poor Cleveland teams, (in 2006 only got 12 wins with a 3.22 ERA) CC would have a few more wins and actually (barring injury) would have a decent chance at 300 wins. So far in his career he has 157 wins over 10 seasons. It will be tough for him to keep up the wins for the next ten years, but being on the Yankees won’t hurt.