With the 2011 New York Yankees exiting the postseason earlier than planned, the looming questions surrounding this off-season are no longer avoidable.
Key players contracts are up, team/player options will be decided and the consequences will dictate next season’s outlook.
So, here are 2 situations that fans need to keep a close eye on:
1. Will CC Sabathia opt out of this contract? Or Will The Yankees Not Let Him?
It is almost guaranteed that CC Sabathia will opt out of his current contract because anyone with half a brain would do the same. Sabathia is the nucleus of the Yankees starting rotation and everybody knows that the team cannot afford to let him walk.
So far, Sabathia is posting a 59-23 record, with a 3.18 ERA and has pitched over 705 innings. When Sabathia starts the Yankees winning percentage is .720, which has to do with his 624 accumulated strikeouts and the slight number of home-runs he has given up, 55 in total. He has been named twice (2010 & 2011) to the All-Star team, and finished fourth (2009) and third (2010) in the CY Young voting.
There is no denying that Sabathia seemed uncomfortable on the hill and for the first time looked vulnerable over his last 10 starts this past season. It is hard to really measure much against this decline, as it simultaneous happened when skipper Joe Girardi switch to a six-man rotation. It has been proven that Sabathia thrives on a regular schedule.
The Yankee brass should be smart and ante-up before Sabathia gets a chance to hit the free agent market. Currently Sabathia has four years left on his $161 million-7 year deal, with a fourth year player opt-out clause.
Sabathia is a true ace and would be coveted by lots of teams if they get the chance to talk to him. Yankees need to tack on two more years at $23-$25 million each and call it a day, and a good one at that.
Without question, Robinson Cano’s option will be picked up. Cano will be a Yankee his whole career, and they will pay him whatever he wants after 2012 this I can promise you. He is 28 years-old and one of the top three best players in all of baseball, enough said.
I am not as convinced that the Yankees will pick up the $10.5 million club option for Nick Swisher, but exercising his $1 million buyout for him to go would be a catastrophe.
Swisher is a fan favorite because he absolutely loves being a Yankee and his positive spirit is contagious. Swisher’s attitude trickles right into the clubhouse, as his teammates adore him. Mind you, Swisher is not some so-so player either, as he produces both defensively and offensively. Swish has driven in over 82+ RBIs in all three of his Yankee years, as well as 81 home-runs and he is a walking machine racking up 250 in pinstripes.
Swish has struggled in the postseason, but he comes through in the clutch in the regular season, and the New York pressure doesn’t get to him. Swisher just fits in the Bronx, and that is enough to show him the money in itself. Swish can also play first base and center field at a moments notice; and pitch an inning in emergency relief.
Speaking for most Yankee fans, it would be refreshing for the Yankees front office to get these hiccups out-of-the-way and not cause more off-season drama. Last season’s Derek Jeter, Cliff Lee, and Mariano Rivera negotiations were too much to handle for everybody.
“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” – Andrew Jackson, (American 7th US President, 1767-1845)
- You: 2012 MLB Free Agency: CJ Wilson and 5 Players NY Yankees Should Target (bleacherreport.com)
- MLB Playoffs: Stop Blaming A-Rod, Teixeira and Swisher for the Tigers Victory (bleacherreport.com)
- CC Sabathia can opt out after Yankees early exit (cbssports.com)
- CC Sabathia side steps questions about contract opt out (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- CC Sabathia’s Last Stand? Yankees Ace Faces Opt-Out Decision (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Does anyone expect CC Sabathia not to opt out? (fitzandvig.com)
- Assuming That New York Yankees Are Resting CC Sabathia Too Much (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- After Yankees’ Season Of Milestones, Crushing Disappointment (newyork.cbslocal.com)