Posted on December 16, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
Apparently, nine years in the Bronx wasn’t enough for C.C. Sabathia. After signing with the New York Yankees prior to the 2009 season and spending nine years with the club, Sabathia wanted to make it an even decade with the Bronx Bombers. On Saturday, Sabathia agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal to return to the Yankees in 2018 in hopes of helping the team win a world championship.
“CC feels there’s unfinished business to attend to,” said Kyle Thousand, Sabathia’s agent. “There were competitive offers that CC was weighing, but in the end, CC wanted to come back and win a championship with the Yankees. He loves his teammates, the clubhouse and the moves the Yankees are making. He wants to bring home another championship to the Yankee fans.”
Sabathia has done an impressive job of reinventing himself late in his career. At age 37, he’s no longer the power pitcher he once was and endured some rough seasons because of it. But he’s turned things around the past couple of seasons and become one of New York’s most reliable starters. In 2017, Sabathia was 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA. He then made four starts for the Yankees during the postseason, posting a 2.37 ERA.
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Despite the Yankees falling short in the ALCS, Sabathia remained hopeful that he’d be able to return to the team next season. It was clear at the end of last season that the Yankees were trending upward. That’s even more true after the Yankees worked out a trade for Giancarlo Stanton.
“I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great,” Sabathia said following the ALCS. “This is my home, and I want to see this thing through.”
Of course, Sabathia was not necessarily New York’s first choice this offseason. The Yankees had high hopes for signing Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani, who ended up signing with the Angels. More recently, the Yankees were linked in trade talks with Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Such a trade is still possible but less likely after re-signing Sabathia. With the Yankees hoping to stay under the luxury tax threshold next season, even after adding Stanton’s salary, re-signing Sabathia made more sense than going after frontline free agents like Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta.
With Sabathia back, the Yankees should feel good about their starting rotation heading into next season. The aging lefty will join Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery in forming New York’s ideal starting-five.
The Yankees also have Chad Green, Luis Cessa, and Adam Warren providing rotation depth. Prospects Chance Adams, Justus Sheffield, and Domingo Acevedo could also factor into the equation at some point in 2018. It’s safe to say that rotation depth should not be an issue for the Yankees in 2018.
Obviously, signing Sabathia doesn’t provide the splash that it once did. But considering the depth the Yankees have in the minors and their financial situation, he may be the ideal signing. Over the last three years, Sabathia has been a trusted and durable member of the team’s starting rotation. There’s no reason why he can’t provide that for one more season, as both he and the Yankees chase another world championship.