The New York Yankees are breathing a sigh of relief now that they have signed CC Sabathia to a contract extension after a surprisingly civil and quick negotiation.
In a deal that I think is extremely favorable for the Yankees, Sabathia will only get another guaranteed year at $30 million added to his contract. The Yankees ace also has a vesting option for another $25 million if he stays healthy, which he has over his first three years in pinstripes. Sabathia has been a true horse for a team that desperately needed one so that option year is achievable for him.
I’m really surprised CC didn’t demand a better deal from the Yankees. Not that he will be hurting for money. But I thought he had all the leverage he needed to get exactly what he wanted from the Yankees. From what CC is saying, he personally just didn’t want to drag this out. He didn’t want to go through the hoopla of being a free agent again. And he obviously loves being the big guy in New York.
Yankee players have shown the team a lot more loyalty in contract negotiations than they have been shown by the team. The Yankees publicly embarrassed Captain Derek Jeter into the deal he signed, knowing that Jeter had no leverage because he had no desire to ever play for another team. But Mariano Rivera didn’t hold a gun to the Yankees head and demand a longer, richer contract even though he had genuine interest from other teams, namely the Red Sox. Sabathia too could have waited until midnight and let the Red Sox come in and drive up his price or get him more guaranteed years. But he didn’t do that, which shows a lot of class and loyalty. From a fan’s perspective, it’s heartwarming, but I can’t help but feel that the Yankees dodged another bullet.
So the most important task of the offseason for the Yankees was accomplished quickly and with essentially no rancor. No matter what happens over the rest of the winter, the Yankees should consider themselves very lucky.