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BREAKING: CC Sabathia has agreed to a new contract with the Yankees. His new extension is for five years and $122 million, replacing the remaining terms of his old contract (4 years, $92 million). CC will be paid $25 million in the final year of the deal (2016).
It doesn’t seem possible to think about the big south paw missing from the one spot in the rotation considering that the rest of the Yankees rotation, with the exception of Ivan Nova, is as uncertain as this wonderful economy we are living in now. Life without Sabathia would result in a lot that would make Yankee fans uneasy, especially if the team has another idle offseason, sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else make moves.
A 24-year-old would hold the number one spot in the rotation. Even though Ivan Nova had a phenomenal rookie season, he still needs to establish himself as an elite pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Who else? Who’s next?
AJ Burnett? Come on. Burnett has the stuff to be a number one starter but he is one of the biggest reasons why this Yankee rotation is unclear entering the offseason. How much longer can Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon defy father time and continue to pitch like they did during their glory days, however long ago? Phil Hughes can also be an important component to the rotation but can he stay healthy?
After a tremendous start to the 2011 season, CC struggled for the majority of the latter part of the season and could not stop the bleeding in the decisive Game 5 against the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. After his late season flop and his inability to be effective when most important, more questions definitely arise. Should the Yankees give CC what he wants? Is he worth the new and more lucrative contest? Should the Yankees make a big deal about ultimately giving CC a contract that would only give him $2 million more per year?
Despite his struggles, he is one of the best pitchers in the league. Despite his disappointing appearance in the playoffs, he is the only lefty the Yankees have. Despite his decision to opt out, perceiving him to be a little bit more greedy than we all thought, he is still CC Sabathia. He has anchored the Yankees rotation for the past three years and has proved that he can pitch in the toughest division in the league on more than one occasion.
Whether pride stands in the way or not, the Yankees did not really have a choice.