Sabathia Takes Major Money From New York UPDATE
Yahoo!'s Gordon Edes and Tim Brown are now reporting that the deal is for seven years and $161 million, a number which is significant in that it makes Sabathia's annual value a tick higher than the deal Johan Santana signed last winter with the crosstown Mets, making Sabathia's deal both the richest in overall value and annual value. More significant, however, is that the contract includes an opt-out clause after three years. Those first three years are worth $69 million, and the way players in baseball and other sports have been trending, one would almost assume (yes, already) that Sabathia would opt out three years from now. That would leave a whopping $92 million on the table, so Sabathia might just be the guy who bucks the trend to hold on to the money he's just signed up for. In other aftermath, Brewers GM Doug Melvin is now confirming (to the Journal-Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt) that his team's offer for Sabathia was pushed up to just above $100 million over five years, and that the team was considering adding a sixth year. Interestingly, he notes that Sabathia wanted an opt-out clause in Milwaukee, too, so the opt-out isn't just a New York condition.
After letting the largest contract for a pitcher in baseball history sit on the shelf for a full month, free agent ace CC Sabathia has finally acquiesced to the Yankees drive to acquire him, agreeing to a monster deal, according to both the New York Post's Joel Sherman and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Sherman first broke the agreement at around 3:30 this morning. The even bigger news, however, is Rosenthal's unconfirmed report that the contract Sabathia will sign is even bigger than the
four-year six-year, $140 million deal sent over to his representatives last month. Rather, the new deal is cited at seven-years and $160 million, a sum which, according to my rudimentary calculations, is roughly the gross domestic product of Madagascar.
The deal follows three days of face-to-face negotiations between Sabathia and just about every member of the Yankees organization short of George Steinbrenner's sons Hank and Hal (ironically, the guys who will be fronting all the money for the deal). First, Sabathia and his agent, Greg Genske, met with Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Manager Joe Girardi. Then he met with Cashman and Yankees legend Reggie Jackson. Then, last night, Cashman reportedly got on a plane and flew to San Francisco, where he sold Sabathia's wife, Amber, on the idea of CC playing and the family living in New York. Quite the sell job.
Sabathia had made it perfectly clear that he wanted to play on the West Coast and, if possible, in the National League, so this deal is a bit of a capitulation. Still, it's hard to argue against capitulating for $160 million isn't it? It'll be interesting to see how Sabathia and his representatives play the signing in the media. Remember, this is a guy who told Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, "I want to be a Dodger," in a Las Vegas hotel hallway just a day ago, so it seems unlikely there will be too much "I love New York!" quotes. Still, it bears watching.
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