As many people predicted, CC Sabathia is headed back to the American League. From the moment he cleaned out his locker in Milwaukee, fans knew that a bidding war would soon ensue, headlined by the Yankees.
The Yankees didn't disappoint, offering CC a seven year, $161 million-contract.
And $161 million is a lot of money. Yes, the Yankees need pitching, but was signing Sabathia the right move?
The Yankees cleared some cap space this offseason, when they granted free agency to Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu, Sidney Ponson, Pudge Rodriguez, Richie Sexson, and Carl Pavano. They dealt infielder Wilson Betemit for OF/1B Nick Swisher, and Mike Mussina retired.
The Yankees are also reportedly involved with A.J Burnett. Burnett was reportedly offered an five year, $80 million-deal by the Atlanta Braves, less than half of what the Yankees offered Sabathia.
If the Yankees really wanted Burnett, they could easily overpay him to come to New York. In his career, Burnett is 7-4 against Tampa Bay with 2 shutouts and 7-1 vs. Baltimore in nine starts. But, most importantly to Yankee fans, Burnett is 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA vs. Boston.
CC has similar stats. He is 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA vs. Tampa Bay, 7-3 with a 3.46 ERA vs. Toronto, and is 5-0 with a 2.38 ERA vs. Baltimore. But CC is 2-4 with a 3.91 ERA vs. Boston, and he was 0-2 against Boston in the 2007 playoffs while pitching for the Indians. He was 1-8 with an 6.16 ERA vs. the Yankees, and was 1-4 with an 8.61 ERA at old Yankee Stadium.
As the cross-town Mets found out last season, you can't win a championship with someone who plays every five games. The same will be with the Yankees. With the departure of Pettitte, Mussina, and Ponson, huge holes have opened up in the Yanks' rotation.
Instead of spending $161 million on just Sabathia, why not use it to sign Burnett, Ben Sheets, and Derek Lowe, and Jon Garland? Or you could use it to lure Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell, or Adam Dunn to New Yankee Stadium?
All in all, the Sabathia deal is bad for both sides. Big contracts for pitchers didn't work for the Giants and Zito or the Mets and Santana. Don't expect any more success from CC and the Yanks.