Yankees Aim To Sign Sabathia Before Opt-Out Date

9:07pm: The Yankees are "close to completing" a new offer for Sabathia, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times.

9:36am: If the World Series ends tonight, Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia could opt out of his contract as early as tomorrow.  The Yankees, however, hope to quickly take Sabathia off the market by signing him before he opts out, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.

Yankees' brass is currently meeting in Tampa.  King says they are "believed to be OK with a five or six-year deal for an obvious raise over his $23MM a year," but they don't want to go to seven or eight years.  If they propose something like six years and $150MM, that might be enough to prevent Sabathia from exploring the open market.  I think it's possible he could find something like seven years at a $24MM salary on the open market, but there's no guarantee.  Now, if the Yankees won't guarantee a sixth year, I think C.C. is going to have to explore the market.  Guaranteeing a sixth year from the start would give the Yankees a good chance of keeping Sabathia off the market, in my opinion. 

In a poll of almost 8,000 MLBTR readers earlier this month, opinions were divided on the expected total of Sabathia's new deal.  18% of those polled predicted a contract in the $121-130MM range, while 14% saw a deal exceeding $170MM.  For MLBTR's full archive of Sabathia rumors, click here.  Click here for a look at all the available starting pitchers on the free agent market.



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