New York Yankees: 2 Ways To Start Off-Season Drama Free New York Yankees: 2 Ways To Start Off-Season Drama Free New York Yankees: 2 Ways To Start Off-Season Drama Free

New York Yankees: 2 Ways To Start Off-Season Drama Free

CC Sabathia

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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.

2. Will Nick Swisher’s $10.5 million team option and Robinson Cano’s $14 million option be picked up for 2012?

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)


  1. Tanned Tom says:

    I'm leery of extending Sabathia. He's already signed through age 35, has thrown a ton of innings, needed minor knee surgery last off-season and is a good 50 pounds overweight. Any G.M. that signs a player like that past age 35 is crazy. If CC thinks another team will beat the $92 mil he's due over the next 4 years, then go play for them. Signing CJ Wilson might make more sense. It'd be cheaper of course as well. Now Swisher is another story. I second your feelings about the guys attitude, and versatility, and yet… And yet, he stinks in the post season. Not just this year either, his post season career line of .169 BA/.295 OBP/.323 SLG bites. Since being a Yank he's had exactly 1 good playoff series, out of 7. This does not make me miss Paul O'Neill. And he's tradeable with a 1 year option at $10 mil. And eventually Jeter and/or Rodriguez might need to be moved to the OF for defensive reasons, or for health in A-Rod's case. If he can be packaged with a minor leaguer or two to obtain a good, young front line pitcher, perhaps from the Gaints or the Padres (2 teams in need of power corner OFs with pitching to spare) that seems like a deal NY has to make.

    • Kate says:

      I hear you Tom but Sabathia is not locked up till 35 because of the opt-out clause and he can leave to go elsewhere. Teams will jump on Sabthia and the Yankees cannot afford to lose him….what would you suggest as his replacement???
      Yankees need his 19 wins….no question about that.

      • Tanned Tom says:

        You're right Kate about NY needing his production, but what are the chances this kind of athlete will still be productive after age 35? If he opts out I could see a bit extra money, and maybe taking him through age 36, but multi year deals for baseball players past age 35 are serious gambles. It's not like we're talking about Jeter who is in great shape, we're talking about an "athlete" who is 50 pounds overweight.

        As for replacing his production, Wilson looks interesting. He would be much cheaper, and has much less mileage on him. I don't know, the team might have to actually develop some young pitchers and be patient with them. This year's rotation was clearly a stall for just such time.

        They already has 1 terrible contract, 1 bad contract, and 1 that could go either way (Rodriguez, Burnett, Teixeira), I'm not anxious to see them add to it.

        The offense carried the rotation this year, it might have to again.

        I would be far happier with:

        CJ Wilson (assuming we can sign him)





        than Sabathia, Nova, Burnett, Colon, Garcia

        Let's say no to Sabathia, and really, where else can he get more money? There are only handful of teams that can afford $25 mil a year contracts. If it comes to it, let some other team make the mistake of signing this guy til age 37 or 38.

        • Kate says:

          Unfortunately this is the baseball world we live in these days….Tangled Tom. This is what top players/pitchers contracts have become.

          CC is special and dominate lefties don't come around very often. Even with all the NYY pitching prospects, bringing them up to the Bronx is not easy as the media attacks and the fans are entitled. Demanding immediate production from a 23-24-year-old can take a toll mentally and ruin what looked to potentially be a promising career. Not many Novas, who can handle the pressure. Look at Ian Kennedy….he would not have survived in New York and now he is a CY Young contender a year+ after arriving in Arizona.

          Point is Sabathia is vital for 2012-2013 seasons, unless you want to watch the Yankees miss playoffs well they pamper youngsters. Rangers Wilson is a good pitcher, but say what you want he is not an ace like Sabathia, Lee or Halladay.

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    Oops, I meant that Swisher's post seasons didn't make me FORGET Paul O'Neill.

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