Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Would Sabathia opt out?
So yesterday, C. C. Sabathia was asked about the possibility of exercising the opt out clause in his contract after this season and in response he said "I have no idea. Anything's possible."
Not quite the soundbite that the Yanks and their fans were looking to hear.
So what does that mean? Is it possible that Sabathia would opt out? You wouldn;t have thought so a year ago. The Yankees had just come off a World Series championship and things looked quite rosy for the team. Not that a LOT has changed... the Yanks did lose out in the AL Championship Series to the texas Rangers last year and there are questions about the starting rotation that have some people thinking the Bronx Bombers are in some trouble thie year... but it's not like the team outlook is bleak.
There are nagging thoughts though... Sabathia never seemed to really want to come to the Bronx. Even with no other offers even close to the hugh seven year deal the Yanks have put on the table, Sabathia held out for so long that eventually the opt out clause was put in. For whatever reason, Sabathia was hesident to come to the Yankees and even with the huge championship ride in 2009 it seems that he's not 100% enamored with his presence there.
Sabathia has five years remaining on the $161 Million Dollar contract he signed before the 2009 season. If he opts out he will be 31 years of age and leaving about $90 Million on the table. Looking at Cliff Lee's 5-year $120 million dolar contract (Lee was 32 when he signed that) it's not out of the question that with another strong year similar to last years 19-8, 3.37 ERA season could get Sabathia a five or six year deal worh as much as $150 million.
After the World Series Championship in 2009, the left-hander repeatedly said that he likes New York and enjoys playing for the Yankees and would not try to become a free agent via opt out. While he hasn't reversed that, the changing of his tune might mean the Yanks will have to consider going against company policy and discuss a contract extention.
While I doubt Sabathia will opt out, it's not a crazy question. If Sabathia has a great year but the Yankees do not, and it looks like he could get a nice payoff with an opt out, it's certainly within the realm of possibility that he'd look to take a leap out... especially if he really didn't want to be in pinstrips in the first place.
Listen, no one really imagined A-Rod out opt out either... but he did and turned his insane contract into an even MORE insane one. Who's to think Sabathia wouldn't do the same?
Look at the Phillies rotation. Now look how well Sabathia has thrived in New York and in the AL East. Do you think an NL team like the Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals or maybe even the Mets wouldn't consider an offer of six years, $150 million to try and counteract that? Al teams like the Angels, White Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, And Rangers might all be willing to go to those lengths as well. There would be a lot of interest in Sabathia should be opt out.