Yankees News: CC Sabathia Joins ESPN as Contributor Ahead of Retirement

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2019

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia speaks during a news conference at the New York Yankees spring training baseball facility, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. Sabathia announced he will retire after the 2019 season.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia is already preparing for life after baseball.

ESPN announced Tuesday that Sabathia will contribute to the network during his final MLB season in 2019. The left-hander will appear on SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight, and he will serve as a guest host on ESPN Radio New York's Humpty & Canty show.

The 38-year-old Sabathia announced this winter he will retire following the 2019 campaign, which will be his 19th as a major leaguer.

Sabathia commented on the move, saying, "As I begin to look toward the future, I'm excited to have this opportunity with ESPN. With that said, my singular focus is on winning another World Series championship for Yankees fans and the city of New York."

The six-time All-Star is set to enter his 11th season with the Yankees after he spent the first seven-plus years of his career with the Cleveland Indians. He also had a brief, dominant stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.

Although he is approaching 40, Sabathia has been productive near the back end of New York's rotation over the past few seasons. In 2018, Sabathia went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA. He also struck out 8.2 batter per nine innings, which was his best rate since 2014 when injury limited him to eight starts.

Sabathia has had an ERA under 4.00 in each of the past three seasons, and he will be a luxury for the Yankees in 2019 as their fifth starter behind Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ.

Sabathia also has a chance to make history. He's just four wins away from 250 and 14 strikeouts away from 3,000. Provided he reaches both, he'll become just the 14th player in MLB history to do so, per ESPN.

The one-time American League Cy Young Award winner and 2009 World Series champion is already third all-time among lefties in strikeouts, and he will have a chance to round out what may already be a Hall of Fame resume.

ESPN noted that Sabathia will begin contributing to spring training coverage this month before embarking on his final MLB season with a title-contending Yankees club.