Sabathia’s Agent Discusses Opt-Out Clause

Yankees ace CC Sabathia is widely expected to exercise his opt-out clause soon after the World Series, foregoing the final four years of his contract in search of an even larger payday. In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to Brian Peters, Sabathia's agent, about the situation….

"CC has been clear about how he feels about New York and the Yankees," Peters said on Saturday morning, "and we will exhaust all of our efforts to reach a new agreement (with the Yankees)."

When asked if negotations about a new deal with New York have started, Peters replied: "As of today, I've got nothing new to report."

Sabathia, 31, will be leaving $92MM on the table if he opts out. His ERA has gone down in each of his three seasons in New York (3.00 in 2011), and his strikeout (8.7 K/9) and walk (2.3 BB/9) rates this year were his best since 2008. Olney mentions that there was some concern in the Yankees organization about how the lefty's weight affected his command late in the season (4.30 ERA in his last nine starts), but there should be little concern about his durability; Sabathia has thrown at least 230 innings every year since 2007.

We heard the Rangers were preparing to "throw a boatload of money" at Sabathia earlier this week, and Olney speculates that the Cubs and Angels could get involved as well. MLBTR readers were pretty split when asked how much Sabathia's next contract will be worth about two weeks ago.


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71 Comments on "Sabathia’s Agent Discusses Opt-Out Clause"


3 years 9 months ago

I don’t think it’s a good idea for the Yankees to give a six- or seven-year deal to Sabathia this off-season, any more than I thought it was a good idea to give a six- or seven-year deal to Cliff Lee, last off-season. It’d be a bitter pill, but if he wants that many years the Yanks should let him walk. Even five is iffy, in my humble opinion. I’d offer him four with a club option for a fifth, and then let him walk if he got six or seven from Texas.

yankeeparrothead
3 years 9 months ago

I agree with you on all points

andrewyf
3 years 9 months ago

Of course, this is what leads to teams like the Red Sox missing out on the elite free agents, so they have to severely overpay mediocre (Lackey) or merely decent (Crawford) talent in order to fill the subsequent holes on their teams.

The downgrade from CC to CJ is massive. Plus, you have to give up your first round draft pick for CJ. The Yankees will most certainly be the team to offer CC the best contract. What he does with that offer is up to him.

3 years 9 months ago

Haha, Crawford was an elite free agent. Perhaps he’s not elite now, but he was before the signing.

andrewyf
3 years 9 months ago

Nah. I would say he and Matt Holliday were on the same level when they signed their deals (I was over the moon when I found out the Sox barely even tried to sign Holliday. Can you imagine his bat in Fenway?). Crawford’s best skill – by far – is his speed. You can’t call someone with great speed and only so-so everything else elite, sorry. Paying $140+M for speed was one of the worst free agent decisions I’ve ever seen. Speed is by far the least important aspect of a player’s game.

Threat_Level_RedSox
3 years 9 months ago

If you slot his 2010 numbers in the 3-hole his past season you can make the argument he is worth 20 mil (performance and name value) but i dont think anyone saw him performing that badly. Also and i the only person who finds it some what comical that they sold everone on the idea he would become the kind of  player that Ellsbury ultimately became.

3 years 9 months ago

Thank you, that is pretty much my point. People try to argue that his only skill was his speed, selectively ignore the fact that he put up 10.5 war between 09-10. 

notsureifsrs
3 years 9 months ago

and while most of that was from UZR, he was a straight up good hitter that whole time. his .372 wOBA was 8th among all outfielders and is the exact level at which josh hamilton produced this year (or, if you adjust for league and park, justin upon)

3 years 9 months ago

You’d get a first round draft pick for losing CC I would assume. Or does his opt out excuse him free Type A free agency? I would love to know the details on that, like if CC opts out can he still be offered arbitration. If it does he would be worth sooooo sooooo much more.

ubercubsfan
3 years 9 months ago

Yankee’s really need pitching.  Maybe something like 150MM/6yr with options.
100MM/2012-2015
25MM/2016 (If CC makes a total of 400 IP in years ’14-’15)
25MM/2017 (Player option if 2016 option vests)

Would be on par with what Philadelphia offered Lee AAV I believe.

NomarGarciaparra
3 years 9 months ago

I agree that 6-7 years is risky, but regardless the Yankees should still give him the money. You can sign CC for 7 or CJ for 5. CJ is not a top of the line elite pitcher like CC, Halladay, or King Felix. Signing top of the line pitchers are less risky than signing a 2nd tier pitcher (like Lackey or Burnett). To me, it’s actually less of a gamble to go to CC for 7 than CJ for 5.

Not to mention…what are the Yankees going to do with CC?

3 years 9 months ago

Normally I’d agree with this statement, but that weight CC put on is alarming, he lost a bunch of weight in the off season and gained it all back and then some during the year. If he goes at this rate I can’t imagine his legs being able to support him in his mid 30s. He might be the bigger risk as a result.

NomarGarciaparra
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah I suppose, now that you point that out.

I guess CC is a bit more risky, but I truly believe in my statement for guys like Halladay – top notch pitcher who’s proven himself year after year! Nevertheless, injury is always a risk, but barring any injuries, these guys are just usually more reliable in the long haul.

captainjeter
3 years 9 months ago

enough already about the weight. The Yankees can and will lay down the law about him maintaining a  healthier  weight. The Tigers have done it  with Cabrera  and the Giants  have done  this  with Sandovol.

ATLian
3 years 9 months ago

I wish atlanta told andruw about his weight..

Tko11
3 years 9 months ago

The problem with that is that if the Yankees don’t resign him they have no ace and lots of holes in their rotation. Big market teams offering such dumb long term contracts put themselves in this situation. They are all looking at win now because eventually if the contract becomes ugly and the player doesn’t produce they can eat the contract. 

3 years 9 months ago

and they don’t already? anywhere from the 3rd on is a ? Burnett is still a ? Hughes is a ? and their 5th starter who knows?

Tko11
3 years 9 months ago

But if they let him go it gets even worse.

captainjeter
3 years 9 months ago

Yankeee fan? Be prepared to not make the playoffs  then , genius

3 years 9 months ago

Texas should worry about the ALCS before talking offseason moves.

MadmanTX
3 years 9 months ago

It was just an unnamed rumor and doubtful it came from anybody in the Rangers organization–I seriously doubt the Rangers are focused on anything except the Tigers at this point.

vtadave
3 years 9 months ago

Agreed.  Pretty clear this came from Sabathia’s agent.

3 years 9 months ago

 This is just flat out greed.

Jeff
3 years 9 months ago

It is greed but its the fault of teams out there that will pay players this rediculous amount of money that allows players to demand this much.  If all the teams would take a hard line stance and not pay contracts like that we wouldn’t have this issue.

Yankees420
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah!  Then after the owners stop paying these “rediculous” salaries, they can pass on the savings to the fans by lowering ticket prices!  

vtadave
3 years 9 months ago

Yep, Sabathia should just be happy with the money he has. I’m sure none of us would take more money if it were to be thrown at us…

3 years 9 months ago

Even if so, it is not different than almost all contract negotiations in any profession. If you can make more money doing what you do, then for your own benefit and your peers benefit you probably take advantage of it.

3 years 9 months ago

How much more than $23 million per year will he get? Or is it just the length of contract he wants extended?

NomarGarciaparra
3 years 9 months ago

He won’t get much more (if any more) than 23M per, but he will get another 6 or 7 years.

TXHC
3 years 9 months ago

He wants as many of those $23mm a year seasons as he can possibly get.  Can’t say I blame him.

bjsguess
3 years 9 months ago

Just tack on a few more years at $23m and stay in NY. Seems like a win for everyone.

Corey Lancaster
3 years 9 months ago

There’s no way the Angels get involved.  They have pitching already and need offense not more pitching.  Now if the Rangers somehow land C.C. then I could see the Angels making a run at CJ Wilson given he’s a So-Cal native.  That is of course assuming the Yankees don’t throw ridiculous amount at CJ if CC goes elsewhere.   

MadmanTX
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t see how these supposed Rangers rumors are all going to pan out. In the past couple of months, I’ve read that they are going after Pujols, Fielder, Darvish and Sabathia, while trying to lock up Wilson and Hamilton to long term deals. I don’t think the Rangers can afford a 200 mil payroll to make all these signings. I see the Rangers maybe not wanting to commit to huge deals to guys who are going to be more of a burden at the end of their deals 6 years from now like Pujols and Sabathia. I could see the Rangers going after Fielder and Darvish and that’s about it. I think they make an offer to Wilson, but it’ll be asking for a home team discount and he probably won’t take it.

55saveslives
3 years 9 months ago

I know it’s business, but this is why I don’t feel sorry for athletes ever! When a contract like CC has isn’t enough….

3 years 9 months ago

might as well maximize what you earn. i don’t see anything wrong with him opting out. 

55saveslives
3 years 9 months ago

I guess I just see athletes or celebrities or what have you, always wanting more….C.C.  and his family and his grand kids, grand kids are already taken care of with his current contract.  Why does anyone need more?

JonJurrjens
3 years 9 months ago

It’s all about ego. They look at it as if x  player is getting x amount of money, then I should get better. It’s basically a way for top athletes to confirm their status as elite. Once your set for life I guess money becomes everything,

3 years 9 months ago

if you could opt out of your contract at work and knew you’d get more money, wouldn’t you? If you say no, I’d say you are foolish.

55saveslives
3 years 9 months ago

Horrible argument….none of us make anywhere close to what C.C. makes/has made.  I’m not talking about regular joes who make regular wages and struggle. 

3 years 9 months ago

Your argument is horrible. The point is you need to maximize your earnings. Anyone who doesn’t do that is doing themselves an injustice. 

55saveslives
3 years 9 months ago

Yes because when you have bazillions of dollars, you need more! So you die with bazillions of dollars in your bank.  Can’t take it with you.

3 years 9 months ago

Someone is going to have that money. So should it be the owner or the player? They’re both going to be filthy rich. Lets use our heads here.

NomarGarciaparra
3 years 9 months ago

You don’t need to feel sorry for athletes. Everything is free-for-all. I would try to make more money if I could, you would, everyone would. It’s human nature, and there’s nothing wrong with CC going for more money.

East Coast Bias
3 years 9 months ago

No one feels “sorry” for any athlete though… I don’t know where that came from. 

55saveslives
3 years 9 months ago

Just a simple statement.  Someone has 92 million dollars coming to him but it’s not enough.

John
3 years 9 months ago

6 years 150MM. get her done

Alex
3 years 9 months ago

Sabathia has no desire to exercise his opt-out clause. His refusal to discuss his contract situation has been vastly and irresponsibly exaggerated by the media, and spiraled out of control to the point where it is now “widely expected” that he’ll opt out, despite absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

3 years 9 months ago

I’ll give you a dollar if he doesn’t opt out (this promise will void if he signs an extension with the Yankees)

Alex
3 years 9 months ago

I won’t be surprised if an extension is worked out, but the opt-out clause will not be exercised.

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

The Yanks starting rotation next year will be: CC,CJ,Nova,Hughes, and Burnett. Noesi will be the 6th man and long man. If they can’t get CJ then they will trade for Gio Gonzalez or sign Edwin Jackson.

Yankees420
3 years 9 months ago

 I hope not, I’d rather leave CJ and the 5-6 years at ~100MM alone and go with CC, Nova, Hughes (hoping he bounces back), Burnett, and a 5th SP that can be counted on for 180 IP.  The money Wilson will command would be better saved hoping that Hamels, Greinke, Cain, or even Marcum make it to FA next offseason. 

3 years 9 months ago

Greinke would be a bust any f the thers are fine

3 years 9 months ago

Tex was a FA ,not a specific yankee FA but you get the point

3 years 9 months ago

unless you want Javier Vazquez 2

andrewyf
3 years 9 months ago

I would go all-in on Sabathia too. If you can get a good player AND take him away from your chief rival, it’s a double-whammy. Example (though not nearly the impact of CC): Russell Martin. Think of how each team’s seasons would have turned out if the Red Sox got him instead of the Yankees. The Sox’s catching defense wouldn’t have been below-par, and they wouldn’t have had to rely on Varitek pretty much at all, plus Martin is simply a more valuable hitter than whoever Boston used. Meanwhile, the Yankees would have most likely gone with Cervelli the whole year, a severe downgrade from what they got from Martin.

But the Red Sox, this decade anyway, have always been more about looking ‘smart’ than actually being good. John Henry prides himself on it. And because of their stupidly self-imposed luxury-tax-based payroll cap, they simply won’t be able to offer CC what he wants.

NomarGarciaparra
3 years 9 months ago

But how much would the Sox have to overbid the Yanks for CC? Do you think that’s even possible?

Threat_Level_RedSox
3 years 9 months ago

Im guessing some team offers around 6/140, so to out bid and ‘compensate’ him for switching to the ‘enemy’ they would need to offer around 7/170 with a Lee style option (27.5 club/ buyout $12.5Mil). Even desperate i dont see them paying what could be close to 185 over 7 or 200 over 8.

3 years 9 months ago

If im the Red Sox I don’t get Sabathia unless he lowers his years.The last thing the Bo Sox need is John Lackey 2

captainjeter
3 years 9 months ago

your  avaitor  says Yankees, but  you are a   Sox  fan.

NYPOTENCE
3 years 9 months ago

Congrats man, “you deserve this”. (Rollie Finger’s pepsi commercial)

John
3 years 9 months ago

None of which are better than CC.

3 years 9 months ago

Liriano might be available this off season cause he sucks, Cain and Hamels are extension candidates, I wouldn’t count on them. 

3 years 9 months ago

Cain is a number 2 at best and thats in a pitchers ballpark, Hamels is obviouly a great pitcher maybe even better than Sabathia, because time and time again hes proven to be an effective top of the rotation beast. They should wait for the freak and then get Hamels.

1.Lincecum
2.Hamels
3.Nova
4.Hughes
5.Garcia?, or somone?

dirtydez
3 years 9 months ago

They’re all younger

MB923
3 years 9 months ago

“They can suck for a year”

Don’t let this guy read this!

3 years 9 months ago

The Yankees should sign Sabathia if they can get a reasonable deal for him but if they can’t they shouldnt give him 7-8 for the same contract.That would be obsurd and a terrible contract.There is plenty of pitching next offseason and Santana isnt a free agent until 2015

captainjeter
3 years 9 months ago

obviously you  are not  a Yankee fan

Minorityfanbasewannabe
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t know man Salty was pretty good. I mean Martin would have been nice but Salty was def a pleasant surprise.

captainjeter
3 years 9 months ago

another  Sox fan heard  from.

3 years 9 months ago

We saw this with Tex, and we have seen it with Rivera. The Red Sox no matter what will make a big bid for a top Yankee FA. Vice Versa aswell

NomarGarciaparra
3 years 9 months ago

Actually it wouldn’t be that bad for the Red Sox if they sign CC to a 7 year deal. Beckett and Lackey are both out in 3 years, and that’s about when CC would start his decline. I’m not saying I support signing CC to 7…just pointing out that CC’s decline would come after Beckett/Lackey/Dice-K/Lester/Buchholz’s contracts are up (not that Lester and Buchholz should be an issue at the latter part of their contracts).

And indeed, I do see the Yankees signing CC to 7 years. It really depends on how the market is, but the only top pitchers on the market is CC and CJ, so I’m sure there will be plenty of interest.