After agreeing to a contract extension through 2016, CC Sabathia will be in the Yankees' rotation again, giving hope to some who are clinging to the pitcher's good numbers and past play. But what fans should know is that this deal isn't necessarily a good one.
In signing Sabathia, the Yankees are trying to chip away at a roster problem. When it comes to starting pitchers, New York is aiming for a short-term solution with long-term consequences
Sabathia doesn't add to the lineup or provide the change that the team needs. He keeps it the same team—a team that couldn't move out of the American League Division Series in 2011.
Keeping Sabathia in the rotation makes the Yankees the same team, just one year older. Some would argue it restores experience, but it adds age to a pitching lineup that could use a handful of young guys.
Despite putting up excellent final numbers this past season—a 19-8 record with a 3.00 ERA and 237 1/3 innings pitched—Sabathia was nowhere near the same pitcher at the end of the season that he had been at the beginning. The odds are against him to improve as time passes.
Sabathia's weight and weight gain have been harped on here and there between passing grumbles and legitimate concerns pertaining to play. While George Steinbrenner was a big proponent of weight gain clauses in deals, which encouraged players to remain fit and healthy, his passing marked the end of that. The new deal does not include a weight clause.
The contract extension will pay Sabathia a minimum of $30 million more than he was already getting, and it will keep him pitching for the Yankees beyond his 37th birthday. Chances are slim that the Yankees will want Sabathia on the mound as he nears 40.