We have our first free agent signing of the offseason, though this isn’t exactly Earth-shattering news. Many expected veteran lefty CC Sabathia to remain with the Yankees, and that is the case. Multiple reports Tuesday night had Sabathia close to agreeing to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Yankees. The Yankees confirmed they reached a one-year deal with Sabathia on Wednesday.
The physical is always the final hurdle. It’s rare that it derails deals, but we’ve seen it happen before. Still, it feels pretty safe to assume Sabathia returns to the Yankees next year on this deal.
The 2019 season will be Sabathia’s 19th in the majors and his final one. He announced it would be his last year playing baseball in a video posted on his Twitter page.
Sabathia, 38, was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA (120 ERA+). 1.31 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 153 innings last season. He’s no longer the workhorse ace he once was — finishing in the top five of Cy Young voting five times and winning once — but he’s a fine back-end rotation guy on a contender.
The Yankees now have three surefire rotation members heading into next season: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Sabathia. After that, Sonny Gray is likely to be traded soon. Then you get into Domingo German and prospects, such as touted lefty Justus Sheffield.
I’d expect Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to further address the rotation this offseason, at the very least to add depth. The Yankees are reportedly interested in Corey Kluber, among other big names. A trade could be involved and there are certainly some free agents that fit as well. Consider this move just step one. It’s a long offseason.
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