Sabathia's agent, Kyle Thousand, told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com the pitcher felt he had unfinished business in New York, which made him choose the Yankees' offer over other competitive ones.
Sabathia pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 2001 into the 2008 season, when they traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers. He then signed with the Yankees before the 2009 campaign and will enter his 10th year in pinstripes in 2018.
Sabathia previously discussed the potential end to his tenure in New York on the Players' Tribune's R2C2 podcast in November.
"If my run is up here—like Joe [Girardi]—I had a great time," he said. "Played here for nine years with some of the best players on the planet. Won a World Series. Greatest fans ever. I was a Yankee. I can say that."
He will have a chance to win another World Series nearly a decade after he helped lead the Bronx Bombers to the title as the 2009 American League Championship Series MVP. In all, he has made 22 career postseason starts. He tallied a 2.37 ERA in 19 playoff innings in 2017 as the Yanks advanced to the ALCS before losing to the eventual champion Houston Astros.
Sabathia's resume includes more than just postseason success.
He is a six-time All-Star and won the 2007 American League Cy Young Award with a 3.21 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 209 strikeouts in 241 innings. The effort marked one of 10 seasons in which he finished with a sub-4.00 ERA, and he's been one of the most consistent pitchers of his generation.
While the southpaw is 37 years old and no longer in his prime, he was still effective last season, posting a 3.69 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 148.2 innings.
The Yankees rotation also includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray, among others, and they won't look for Sabathia to be a Cy Young candidate at this stage of his career. If he can replicate his 2017 performance, though, a lineup featuring Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton should provide enough run support for another successful season in the Bronx.