7:21pm: Sherman posted a correction (on Twitter); the commissioner's office memo does not apply to Sabathia, he only has until midnight ET on Monday to exercise his opt-out clause.
The league clarified that players can file for free agency at 12:01am ET Sunday morning (Saturday night) and talk to new teams at 12:01am ET Thursday morning (Wednesday night). All option decisions are due by 11:59pm ET on Monday night (Twitter links).
5:44pm: The Yankees took care of one important piece of business by agreeing to a new three-year contract with GM Brian Cashman recently, and now they're moving on to bigger and better things. ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand reports that Cashman will meet with CC Sabathia's agent this weekend in an attempt to complete a new contract extension before the ace left-hander can opt-out of his contract and become a free agent.
Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (via Twitter) the commissioner's office sent out a memo informing teams that the offseason officially begins at midnight ET on Sunday, so Sabathia has until midnight ET on Wednesday to exercise his opt-out clause. Yesterday we heard that the team was "close to completing" a new contract offer for Sabathia, an offer Cashman figures to present this weekend.
Sherman notes (via Twitter) that he expects the offer to be in the five-year and $120MM range, similar to what Cliff Lee got from the Phillies last offseason. The team is concerned about bidding against itself however, simply because there aren't many other clubs capable of putting together an offer of that magnitude. Earlier this month, nearly 1,500 MLBTR readers said they expect Sabathia's new contract to be in the $121-130MM range.