Last night the Yankees completed a contract extension with ace C.C. Sabathia, adding one guaranteed year and an additional $30MM and preventing him from opting out and reaching the open market. The new total is $122MM over five guaranteed years, with the $24.4MM average annual value representing a record for a pitcher. If Sabathia avoids a shoulder injury in 2016, a 2017 option will vest and the total will become $147MM over six years.
As with Cliff Lee and the Phillies last year, it's hard to call a record-setting contract a discount. However, I believe Sabathia would have landed six guaranteed years in that same $147MM range, at minimum, on the open market. A seventh guaranteed year wouldn't have been out of the question. It's a huge contract, but Sabathia took significantly less guaranteed money to stay in New York. On to today's C.C.-related links…
- "It was an easy choice" to stay with the Yankees, Sabathia told reporters. Avoiding free agency was a big motivation for him.
- The Yankees can now "shop in comfort rather than desperation," writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman still expects the Yankees to bid for the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish, if the righty is posted. He also thinks the team will explore the trade market for another left-handed starter.
- Yesterday "wasn't a great day for Yankees fans," writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday, but "it could've been much worse."
- "The number of elite pitchers who excel throughout their 30s should make us accepting of the deal," writes Benjamin Kabak of River Ave. Blues.