"I'm here," Sabathia said, pointing out that his kids go to school in New York, where he lives all year. "Hundred percent."
As Ben Kabak of River. Ave Blues explains, Sabathia’s contract looks like a seven-year $161MM deal, but it’s actually “a three-year contract for $69MM with a player option for four years and $92MM.” As Kabak points out, the opt-out gives Sabathia leverage he could use without actually leaving the Yankees. For example, he could ask for another guaranteed year or re-negotiate the contract completely.
The Yankees are presumably eyeing Cliff Lee and they can count on Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Joba Chamberlain even if Andy Pettitte retires, but Sabathia’s presence in the rotation matters immensely.