CC Sabathia stood ready Monday night to opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees. That would have activated the bidding war for his services, and eventually, set a sky-high market rate for starting pitching in free agency this winter.
Scrap those plans.
Instead, Sabathia agreed to an extension with the Yankees, adding two years and $50 million to his current deal. That contract, signed December 2008, already had him slated to earn $92 million through 2015.
The deal is remarkably team-friendly, given the major concession Sabathia made by forgoing the free-agent process. Only $30 million of the extra cash is guaranteed, the rest tied to his health in 2016—when he will turn 36 years old.
Sabathia's deal was signed without testing the true market, so it may not have much impact on the rest of the pitchers who will hit free agency this winter. Then again, so much of baseball price-setting is based upon precedent that this deal could dampen the ones received by the second tier of free agents to come.
Here are 10 guys who will wish Sabathia had held out and gotten much more before this winter is over.