Is CC Sabathia Worth $161 Million?

Brendan CollinsCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2008

The New York Yankees are the most storied franchise in the history of sports. However, over the last 10 years, the dominant Yankees have gone from inspiring to down-right embarrassing.

The Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball, paying $207 Million to its high-profile athletes in 2008. To put this number in perspective, the second highest team payroll went to the New York Mets at $137 Million. That means that their payroll was $70 Million more than the next highest paying team in the MLB in 2008.

The lowest payroll in the MLB in 2008 was the Florida Marlins at $22 Million; therefore, the the Yankees have nearly 10 times the payroll that the Florida Marlins have.

The true question is, can money buy a World Series? The simple answer is no. There is no greater example of this then the 2008 MLB season where the highest paying team (Yankees) did not make the playoffs and the second lowest paying team (Tampa Bay) made it to the World Series.

Year after year, offseason aquisitions are dominated by the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, and the Boston Red Sox signing big name players to huge contracts that the majority of the league could not even think about.

Yet, in the past decade, the Red Sox, who were the fourth highest paying team in the MLB in 2008, has had the most success. Why is this? Well, it is like my father always told me, its not how much you got, its how you spend it.

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The New York Yankees have made some costly mistakes in the past decade in the offseason that has lead to their absence from the World Series picture. I would put their newest acquisition right at the top of the list.

There is no doubt that CC Sabathia is one of the games elite pitchers and has all the ingredients of a superstar. However, although Sabathia has put up major numbers in his career thus far he has struggled in the postseason. 

He has a career ERA of 3.66, and nearly 1400 strikeouts over eight seasons. He is only 28 years old and he is already been a three-time All Star and winner of the A.L. Cy Young.

This is all impressive until you look at the postseason statistics. In his five postseason appearances, he has an ERA of 7.92 with only one win and 24 strikeouts. Is that the formula to winning championships? 

Therefore, two of the highest paid Yankees, CC Sabathia and A-Rod are not gamers, not in the postseason anyways. They are a fantasy players dream, but they are not clutch and they are not postseason heroes.

The Yankees did need to address their pitching problem that plagued the team in 08' and Sabathia is one of the best you can get, but $161 million? Only time will tell if this was a good move for the pinstripes, but big name, high-profile players are not the answers to their problems. They need winners and leaders like Derek Jetter.

This signing is a prime example of the Red Sox beating their rival not on the field, but in the clubhouse. In 2005, the Boston Red Sox signed Josh Beckett, a former World Series MVP and postseason ace to the roster. He received $2.4 million in his first season with the Sox.

Here, the Sox were looking to get a pitcher that would help them win the world series. Two World Series Championships later, Josh Beckett has proven to be an excellent pitcher, especially in the post season.

So why am I talking about the Red Sox? I mention them only to prove why Sabathia MAY not be the answer the Yankees are looking for. Sabathia is big name player who can fill seats, win 15-20 games a year, be a pest to David Ortiz and win Cy Young Awards, however like his new teammate A-Rod stats can only take you so far. The Yankees do not need a stat pitcher, they need a winner, they need a Josh Beckett.

So while I listen to Yankees fans jump for joy as their team is about to sign one of baseballs finest players, I would say to be happy but not too happy because this could turn out to be a bust. Do not forget that this man weighs nearly 300 pounds and did not want to play in the East Coast.

So, in conclusion, I think the Yankees will be a good team and I think Sabathia will have a great season, but I do not think he will lead them to a World Series. They do not have enough depth at this point to beat the Red Sox or the Devil Rays consistently, with or without Sabathia.


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