CC Sabathia says he would've opted for career-ending knee surgery if Yankees weren't World Series contenders
Sabathia is in his final MLB season
Yankees lefty CC Sabathia is retiring after this, his 19th major-league season. The 39-year-old likely future Hall of Famer hasn't been up to his usual standards in 2019 (4.93 ERA through 20 starts), and in very much related matters he's also been limited by his chronically troublesome right knee. Three times he's been on the IL this season with right knee inflammation, and that comes after four trips to the IL (then called the DL) for the same malady from 2014-18.
Sabathia needs surgery on that knee, and only the strength of the current Yankees model has kept him from calling it a career and having that surgery. Here's what Sabathia said to Dan Martin of the New York Post:
"It's the only thing. I think if this team wasn't in a position to win a championship, I probably would have had the surgery a long time ago."
That, of course, would've ended his season and by extension and his career. Despite an impossibly long ledger of injuries, the Yankees do indeed have legitimate designs on the World Series. Right now they're on pace for 106 wins and tied with the Astros for the best record in all of baseball. The SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) right now gives the Yankees a flat 100 percent chance of making the postseason, and in baseball if you make the playoffs then you have a legitimate shot at hoisting the trophy.
As for Sabathia, he's scheduled to return to the mound on Wednesday against the Tigers, and as Martin notes he's said he's open to filling a bullpen role in the playoffs, should manager Aaron Boone decide that's how he's best deployed. Without question, Sabathia will do whatever's necessary to go out a champion.
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