Tag:CC Sabathia
Posted on: October 31, 2011 7:59 pm
 

Sabathia deal boosts free agent pitching market

Sabathia

By Evan Brunell


CC Sabathia is off the market before free agency even began, agreeing to return to the Yankees with a one-year extension worth $25 million, plus a vesting option for 2017 for the same amount.

The news will have an immediate impact on free agency, as it increases the price of pitchers set to be free agents. While many did expect Sabathia to return to New York, many didn't think the lefty would sign away before he got to see what was on the market. It's all that much more surprising that Sabathia signed early, given he's only receiving one additional guaranteed year. But he did, and now C.J. Wilson has to be licking his chops. Teams that would have otherwise started their shopping with Sabathia at the top of the list will be forced to turn to lesser names in Wilson and others.

The move may also sway starting pitcher Yu Darvish to come stateside this season. The phenom ace, whom many say is far better than Daisuke Matsuzaka, has been unsure whether or not he will jump to MLB this season. With the price of Sabathia's contract easily keeping the club in play to win a Darvish bidding, plus the desperation of other clubs to get a top starter, the time is now for Darvish -- not after 2012, when multiple quality pitchers will become free agents.

More Free Agency
Position rankings
Obviously, the Yankees benefit well from Sabathia re-upping at what appears to be a discounted price. The total package of Sabathia moving forward is now five years and $122 million guaranteed, with $5 million of the guaranteed price coming on a buyout of 2017's potential vesting option. Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the option vests automatically unless Sabathia is sidelined by a left-shoulder injury. If Sabathia finishes 2016 on the DL, spends more than 45 days sidelined the entire season with a left-shoulder issue, or makes at least six relief appearances due to shoulder issues, the option can be declined.

The Yankees wanted to avoid any long-term commitment spanning longer than five years, and they have accomplished their goal by convincing Sabathia to accept just one extra year guaranteed. On the market, he probably could have commanded at least six years to start, but Sabathia made no secret about wanting to remain with the Yankees. He also gets to beat out ex-teammate Cliff Lee for highest average annual value on a multi-year deal for a pitcher. Lee's five-year, $120 million deal was previously the highest, but now Sabathia takes it with an AAV of $24.4 million. No matter how you slice it, it's a fantastic deal for the Yankees, and clearly Sabathia walks away pleased as well. If he can stay healthy and effective, becoming a free agent at the age of 36 may still net him one more solid contract.

Interestingly enough, Sabathia and Lee's former team in the Indians benefit. The club just picked up a $7 million option on starter Fausto Carmona and traded for Derek Lowe before all the news hit. Again, while Sabathia returning to New York was expected and not a surprise, it's fair to wonder if Carmona's interest in free agency would have spiraled beyond $7 million despite a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts. The youngster has shown previous success, and the Indians now retain the right to keep the 27-year-old through 2014. Meanwhile, Lowe comes to the Indians at a small price of $5 million and giving up a minor leaguer that will be lucky to ever hit the bigs.

The Braves wanted to move Lowe fast and the Indians obliged. But Atlanta may have been better served to wait out the market for starting pitching. If Darvish somehow opts to stay in Japan, teams will grow more and more desperate, and the Braves may have found a better deal. It works in the Indians' favor, though, who now have two pitchers under contract whose values are now slightly higher with Sabathia's return to New York. With Sabathia, Carmona and Lowe removed as options, free agents can now expect to see more dollar signs.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 30, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 5:57 pm
 

Sabathia, Scutaro and more free agency notes

By Matt Snyder

Sunday morning officially marked the beginning of free agency in Major League Baseball. 148 players filed for free agency, and teams now have exclusivity on retaining their free agents until Thursday at 12:01 a.m. ET. Lots of smallish news broke Sunday with nothing really major, so let's check it all out here in a fun little bullet-pointed post for your perusal.

• The Yankees were expected to offer a contract extension to CC Sabathia this weekend (Jon Heyman) and ESPN New York reports they have done as much -- citing a source who said: "We believe it is a very fair offer, but we haven't heard anything back yet.''

Sabathia is signed through 2015, but he has an opt-out clause in his contract, and he's expected to do exercise it -- per multiple reports and common sense -- in order to get a longer and more lucrative deal.

• The Red Sox announced via press release that they have picked up shortstop Marco Scutaro's option for 2012, which is for $6 million. It's a bit of a birthday present, as he turned 36 Sunday.

More Free Agency
• The Cubs and Aramis Ramirez had a $16 million mutual option. The Cubs elected to exercise it, but Ramirez -- as has been expected for months -- declined it (Chicago Sun Times). So he'll be a free agent, and he's basically the only viable everyday third baseman on the market.

• The Giants have exercised relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt's $5 million option for 2012 (Henry Schulman). You might recall Affeldt's 2011 season ended when he badly sliced open his hand while trying to separate some frozen hamburgers.

• The Giants also agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract with fellow left-handed reliever Javier Lopez.

• The Cardinals will exercise Yadier Molina's $7 million option, reports MLB.com's Matthew Leach.

• The Red Sox have not made an offer to Jonathan Papelbon, reports WEEI.com.

• The Brewers have declined their options on relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, making both free agents.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 7, 2011 2:15 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 12:59 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Yankees

By Matt Snyder

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: New York Yankees
Record: 97-65, 1st place in AL East. Lost ALDS 3-2 to Detroit.
Manager: Joe Girardi
Best hitter: Curtis Granderson -- .262/.364/.552, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 136 R, 10 3B, 25 SB
Best pitcher: CC Sabathia -- 19-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 230 K in 237 1/3 IP

2011 SEASON RECAP

It was a pretty normal regular season for the Yankees, as they brought home their 12th AL East title in the past 16 seasons, but it wasn't drawn up the same way as other successful seasons. The pitching rotation from Day 1 was patchwork. Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and a host of others -- such as Mark Prior -- were brought in during spring training to see if any would stick and it worked out to varying degrees with Garcia, Colon and rookie Ivan Nova. The offense was once-again mighty, as Curtis Granderson emerged as an MVP candidate to pick up the slack for the injured and struggling Alex Rodriguez. Still, in the end, this season will be viewed as a failure since the Yankees didn't win the World Series. If they don't win the World Series, they fell short of expectations. More than 20 other teams would have been ultimately satisfied by this campaign, but not the Yankees. Losing in the ALDS is a failure. Period.

2012 AUDIT

The Yankees are in a familiar spot. They're set up to contend for a World Series title again in 2012, but they are going to have to fill some holes -- namely that they need another reliable starting pitcher. Eyes can look forward and see they need to get younger pretty soon, but with several contracts locked in, the Yankees don't have much choice for 2012. And there is no reason to expect the Yankees to be anywhere but right in the playoff mix come September of 2012. It would be foolish to think otherwise.

FREE AGENTS

Robinson Cano, 2B (club option)
Eric Chavez, 3B
Nick Swisher, RF (club option)
Jorge Posada, DH
Bartolo Colon, SP
Freddy Garcia, SP
CC Sabathia, SP (can and probably will opt out)
Luis Ayala, RP

OFFSEASON FOCUS

They will most certainly bring back Sabathia and Cano. From there ...
  • The rotation will have Sabathia, Nova, Hughes and probably A.J. Burnett. He makes too much money to not plug in there. He has the ability to be a decent fifth starter. Still, that rotation appears pretty top-heavy for a team that expects to be the best in the majors. So they need a legitimate second starter behind Sabathia. And he's sitting right there, if interested. C.J. Wilson of the Rangers is left-handed, which fits well in Yankee Stadium, and is a free agent. With the Posada money coming off the books, in addition to the Colon/Garcia money, the Yankees can likely outbid anyone else for Wilson's services. They could even backload a deal if need be, because people like Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter have expiring contracts in the next several years.
  • As I alluded to above, it's time to part ways with Posada and let Jesus Montero take over as the full-time DH. The youngster showed he has the ability to become a serious threat in the lineup and the Yankees need to inject some youth into the aging lineup. 
  • Pitching prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances don't appear to be ready yet, but they're close. They will be monitored pretty heavily heading into 2012 and if Hughes or Burnett aren't getting it done, it's possible there's a change made. Nova is proof the Yankees aren't afraid to throw someone in the fire.
  • Swisher's situation in right is interesting. Is he worth eight figures? Probably not, according to most teams. But the Yankees can afford that and there aren't many better options out there. What if the Twins don't come to terms on a contract extension with Michael Cuddyer, though? It wouldn't hurt for the Yankees to weigh their options, but the best guess is Swisher comes back. 
  • Really, there isn't that much more that needs to be done. Russell Martin, Mark Teixiera, Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson will again be everyday starters. The rotation has four men set and the back-end of the bullpen has a returning Joba Chamberlain along with Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera. The biggest issue is getting one more starting pitcher and then filling the bench with also-rans like the Yankees did this year with Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez et al. Considering they were close, but not good enough, I fully expect the Yankees to throw the bank at Wilson and that will be the only significant offseason move concerning a player outside the organization. The only caveat to that is the Yankees will have to agree with Sabathia first -- and I do believe the Yankees will do whatever it takes to keep him -- which means they could miss out on Wilson in the meantime. If they do miss out, the leftovers aren't awesome. Edwin Jackson, Erik Bedard and Joel Pineiro look like the best bets. If they wanted to trade, they're probably looking at the likes of Wandy Rodriguez or Jeff Niemann (I don't think the Rays would part with James Shields cheaply), so expect the Yankees to be very agressive with both Sabathia and then Wilson.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:53 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 5:59 pm
 

Sabathia in Game 5 bullpen, Verlander not

By Matt Snyder

After the Yankees won in blowout fashion at Detroit in Game 4 of the ALDS, the series heads back to New York for one final game. The big story of the series has been the use of Cy Young contenders CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander. The two started Friday night but play was suspended after the top of the second inning. They then squared off Monday night, with Verlander's Tigers winning. They'll only be on two days' rest Thursday, so there's no way either could start, but what about coming out of the bullpen?

Sabathia is a tentative yes.

"I would think that I would [have Sabathia], but I have to check with him," Girardi said (MLB.com). "I can check with him today, [but] it doesn't matter how he feels today, it matters how he feels [Thursday]. I would expect I would have him."

New York-Detroit ALDS
Verlander, on the other hand, sounds like a firm no.

"I wouldn't do anything foolish," Leyland said (MLB.com). "I try not to do anything foolish with any of my pitchers, let alone an arm like that. You saw what a talent he is. I would say he's definitely done for this series."

Verlander threw 120 pitches Monday, while Sabathia threw 106. It's kind of surprising Leyland won't even consider Verlander for even one inning, as pitchers do throw side sessions between starts. Leyland did say Game 2 starter Max Scherzer would be available, but he's no Verlander. Still, the most important pitchers for Thursday's deciding Game 5 are the starters: Ivan Nova and Doug Fister.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 9:36 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 9:44 pm
 

Remember me? Granderson gives Yankees early lead



By Matt Snyder


Curtis Granderson was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2002 and came up through the system. He played the first six years of his career for the Tigers. Monday night, he gave the Yankees an early 2-0 lead in quite impressive fashion.

After Derek Jeter led off the game with single up the middle, Granderson turned a triple-digit Justin Verlander fastball into an RBI triple to deep center. Granderson then showed his wheels by scoring on an Alex Rodriguez ground out to shortstop -- even though the Tigers had the infield pulled in. Just like that, it was 2-0 Yankees on a night where runs were expected to be at a premium.

There's a long way to go, especially with neither pitcher looking dominant -- CC Sabathia had four walks through two innings -- but two runs could be paramount in this type of pitching matchup. And, again, the pitch Granderson smashed to center was 100 miles per hour. (UPDATE: Right on cue, the Tigers tied it, 2-2, within minutes of this posting. Where's our pitcher's duel?)

Click here to follow along live on CBSSports.com's GameTracker

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Yankees-Tigers series2011 playoffs

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 4:32 pm
 

ALDS Game 3: CC vs. Verlander, Part Deux



By Matt Snyder


Yankees at Tigers, 8:37 p.m. ET, Comerica Park, TBS

LINEUPS

Tigers Yankees
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Derek Jeter SS 1 Austin Jackson CF
2 Curtis Granderson CF 2 Ramon Santiago 2B
3 Robinson Cano 2B 3 Delmon Young LF
4 Alex Rodriguez 3B 4 Miguel Cabrera 1B
5 Mark Teixeira 1B 5 Victor Martinez DH
6 Nick Swisher RF 6 Magglio Ordonez RF
7 Jorge Posada DH 7 Jhonny Peralta SS
8 Russell Martin C 8 Alex Avila C
9 Brett Gardner LF 9 Brandon Inge 3B
  CC Sabathia LHP   Justin Verlander RHP

We were supposed to get CC vs. Verlander Friday and weather took it away from us after just nine outs. Monday night, it's time again. Hopefully we're treated to clear skies throughout (and the weather report says there's a chance of rain, but the chances get higher later in the night).

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Sabathia vs. Tigers: Sabathia was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.65 WHIP two regular-season starts against the Tigers. In his career, Sabathia has faced the Tigers 32 times -- remember, he played in the AL Central for a long time -- going 15-12 with a 4.54 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Of course, we have to remember, this includes numbers from the early 2000s, when the Tigers' lineup didn't even resemble what it is now. In 14 career starts in Comerica Park, Sabathia is 7-5 with a 4.30 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

Verlander vs. Yankees: He only faced them twice this season, but it wasn't his best line. He had a 4.50 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 12 regular-season innings. He also allowed a run against them in his only inning Friday night. The good news for Tigers fans? Verlander is utterly dominant at home. He's 57-23 with a 3.24 ERA in his career at home, but this season he was 10-3 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 16 home starts. Then again, he was just as dominant on the road this season.

NOTES
New York-Detroit ALDS
  • We wrote Sunday that Miguel Cabrera owned Freddy Garcia and the Tigers' first baseman came through with a huge game. Monday, the numbers point to more of the same. Cabrera is hitting .529 with two home runs, 11 RBI and a 1.506 OPS in 23 career plate appearances against Sabathia. In turn, expect CC to be pretty careful with Miggy.
  • Jeter is past his prime as an elite leadoff hitter, but his history against Verlander looks good. He's hitting .345 with a .441 on-base percentage in 34 career plate appearances against the Tigers' ace. Swisher, Teixeira, A-Rod, Cano and Granderson are all hitting under .200 against Verlander, though.
  • The Tigers won the regular season series 4-3, having outscored the Yankees 36-33. Add in the two playoff games and the Yankees have outscored the Tigers 45-44, but the Tigers have won five games.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 1, 2011 9:47 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 12:25 am
 

Cano's near-homer breaks up pitcher's duel



By Matt Snyder


Game 1 of the ALDS between the Tigers and Yankees was supposed to be a matchup of aces; a pitcher's duel for the ages. It was set to showcase a pair of Cy Young candidates. And then Mother Nature intervened and we had to re-start Game 1 Saturday in the bottom of the second inning.

Early on, it looked like we'd get that pitcher's duel anyway, only this time it would be courtesy of Ivan Nova and Doug Fister.

Through five, Nova has thrown three shutout innings, allowing two hits and no runs. Sure, he was helped by a nice relay from Curtis Granderson to Derek Jeter to Russell Martin to nail Alex Avila at home plate, but no runs have scored, so that's the bottom line.

Fister, meanwhile, had been even better. He'd thrown three shutout innings, having allowed just two hits while striking out five and walking none. But a Curtis Granderson single and a near-home run from Robinson Cano gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead through five innings. The ball bounced right off the top of the wall in left-center field and came back into play. Two fans in the direct line of the ball even backed away and let the play run its course. The umpires used the replay review system and determined the call of no home run on the field would stand. Alex Rodriguez then flew out to end the inning, but the Yankees had notched an advantage.

Still, both offenses appear to be getting settled in. This thing is far from over.

Click here to follow the action live on CBSSports.com's GameTracker

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Yankees-Tigers series2011 playoffs

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: September 30, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 9:37 pm
 

ALDS Game 1 Preview: Aces meet in Bronx



By Matt Snyder


Tigers at Yankees, 8:37 p.m. ET, New Yankee Stadium, TBS

LINEUPS

Tigers Yankees
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Austin Jackson CF 1 Derek Jeter SS
2 Magglio Ordonez RF 2 Curtis Granderson CF
3 Delmon Young LF 3 Robinson Cano 2B
4 Miguel Cabrera 1B 4 Alex Rodriguez 3B
5 Victor Martinez DH 5 Mark Teixeira 1B
6 Alex Avila C 6 Nick Swisher RF
7 Ryan Raburn 2B 7 Jorge Posada DH
8 Jhonny Peralta SS 8 Russell Martin C
9 Brandon Inge 3B 9 Brett Gardner LF
  Justin Verlander RHP   CC Sabathia LHP

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Verlander vs. Yankees: He only faced them twice this season, but it wasn't his best line. He had a 4.50 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 12 innings. The Tigers lost both of those games. The good news for Tigers fans is the last time Verlander saw the Yankees was all the way back on May 2. Since then, he is 22-2 with a 2.08 ERA. In three career starts in the New Yankee Stadium, Verlander is 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. But again, he's been the best pitcher in baseball since he's been there.

Sabathia vs. Tigers: Same as Verlander, Sabathia's seen Friday's opponent twice this season, but the last time was early May (the 3rd). He was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in those two starts. In his career, Sabathia has faced the Tigers 32 times -- remember, he played in the AL Central for a long time -- going 15-12 with a 4.54 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Of course, we have to remember, this includes numbers from the early 2000s, when the Tigers' lineup didn't even resemble what it is now. I'd pretty much discount those numbers, personally, but feel free to draw conclusions if you wish. Home and road splits are similar enough to be negligible for CC.

NOTES
Full Playoff Coverage
  • Surprised Posada is in the lineup? Don't be. He's hitting .333 with a .938 OPS in 26 career plate appearances against Verlander. Jeter (.357) also has a good career history against Verlander. On the flip-side, Rodriguez (.190), Cano (.174), Swisher (.167), Granderson (.167) and Teixeira (.136) have all been held in check by Verlander. He's only gotten in trouble against the Yankees with walks and homers. He just needs to throw strikes and keep it down. 
  • Again, if you believe the Tigers are so familiar with Sabathia because he used to pitch in the division, you need to look at the actual players. Only two have more than 27 career plate appearances against him: Ordonez and Inge. Two players jump out at me, one of each side of the spectrum. Cabrera is hitting .563 with two homers and 11 RBI in just 16 at-bats against Sabathia. Meanwhile, Peralta is 1-for-17 (059).
  • The Tigers won the regular season series 4-3, having outscored the Yankees 36-33.
  • Remember, these two teams were involoved in a three-team trade that sent Granderson to the Yankees and Jackson to the Tigers -- among several other players -- a few years ago. Guess it helped both teams, huh?
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com