MLB Free Agency: New York Yankees' CC Sabathia Likely to Exercise Opt-out Clause
For months now, we've assumed that New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia would use the unusual opt-out clause in his contract to his advantage next winter, but now the likelihood of the 30-year-old ace trying to gain leverage in a deal with the Bombers is "100 percent," an executive from another team told SI.com's Jon Heyman.
Sabathia, who signed a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees before the 2009 season (the biggest-ever for a pitcher), has the option to void the remaining four years and $92 million on his contract after the 2011 season and enter the market as a free agent.
There seems to be little doubt that Sabathia will end up with another team in 2012—the Yankees need him, Sabathia seems to like it there, and Hank Steinbrenner will be capable of outbidding anyone who gets in his way—but that doesn't mean he won't test the market.
With other teams making offers and the Yankees desperate to keep him in the Bronx, Sabathia could easily add at least two or three more years to current his deal at the same $23 million-per-annum salary, if not more. It's entirely conceivable that he could break his own $161 million record.
The durable southpaw is off to one of the best starts of his career, going 4-3 with a 3.06 ERA (2.80 FIP) in 10 starts for New York.
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