Ace pitcher C.C. Sabathia agreed on a new deal with the Yankees, which will keep him in the Bronx for at least five more years.
The big lefty announced the deal on his official Twitter account around 7 p.m. Monday night, about five hours before he could’ve opted out of his contract to become the most sought after pitcher on the free agent market.
“Yankee fans, I’ll be here fighting for number 28 next year!” tweeted Sabathia, who has said in the past that he and his family like living in the New York area.
Sabathia’s new deal is for five years, $122 million. Essentially, it adds one year and $30 million to the pitcher’s first contract with the Yankees, which included an opt-out clause after three years. The contract also includes a vesting option for a sixth season, which goes into effect if Sabathia stays away from left shoulder injury during the 2016 season.
By agreeing on a new contract with Sabathia, the Yankees solved their biggest concern going into free agency just three days after the World Series, allowing the team brass to concentrate its efforts on other free agents and the trade market. The pitching market is slim, and by not opting out, Sabathia ended any chance of the Yankees bidding against themselves, something the Yankees obviously wanted to avoid.
“CC is the ace of our pitching staff, a leader in our clubhouse and a driving force for the Yankees in our community,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. “He is exactly the type player and person that Yankees fans and this organization can be proud of. We are excited that he will be wearing the pinstripes for many years to come.”
Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia, 31, has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA. He has won at least 19 games in each of the last three seasons, and was a key piece to the Yankees 2009 World Series team.
He went 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA during the 2011 season, but Sabathia’s second half was not nearly as dominant as the middle of the season when he rattled off 10 consecutive impressive starts where everything seemed to be going right for the Yankees only sure starter. His struggles prompted observers to question Sabathia’s weight, something he addressed in a conference call with reporters Monday night.
In a video message linked to one of his tweets, Sabathia said: “Happy Halloween everybody, I just want to be the first to let Yankees fans know that we agreed to a contract extension—I’ll be coming back in 2012.
“I want to thank the Steinbrenner family for making that happen. My goal the whole time was to be able to finish my career as a Yankee, and hopefully I can do that…I look forward to seeing everybody out at the ballpark next year. Thanks.”
Tell us what you think: