CC Rider: The New York Yankees Harpoon Sabathia, But for How Long?

Shaun McGannContributor IDecember 10, 2008

So it looks like the Yankees have finally reeled in CC Sabathia. Brian Cashman is said to have flown out West to either get the deal done or start looking elsewhere. The Yankees went two years and $61 million more than the Brewers had reportedly offered.

They also outbid themselves by one year and $21 million from their original offer. All of this depends of course if what ESPN and every other sports news outlet is flashing across the screen every 10 minutes is true.

Sabathia might have a change of heart on that long flight over to the Bronx, turn around, and hold out for the Dodgers to make him an offer.

There aren't too many instances you will read about someone taking almost four weeks to decide whether they want to sign a contract for $140 million and probably even less where that party will demand an additional $20 million.

But that is the climate that baseball has created to keep itself in the headlines during the long offseason. And that is what makes the Yankees the "Evil Empire" to so many, because they are in the unique position to make such offers.

But the real question here to me is why was the seventh year necessary if the opt-out clause is in the contract?

Perhaps it was to insure that should his market value decline by the time he is allowed to opt out, that he will have that extra year $23 million. The speculation seems to be that the opt-out is really in place if Sabathia starts California dreaming and decides he has to bolt the Bronx, in which case what's the difference if the contract is for six years or seven?

Contracts aside, it'll be interesting to see how he fairs in a town it seems like he didn't really want to play in. As long as he wins the fans will be on his side, but should he struggle, the memory of him leaving that contract on the table for so long won't be forgotten.

In the meantime, the Yankees still have a lot of work to do, having the richest pitcher in baseball front your rotation does not guarantee the playoffs, just ask the Mets.