Now that John Lackey is confirmed out for the 2012 season following his Tommy John surgery, the Red Sox have an immediate need that CC Sabathia might be able to fill, writes Anthony McCarron of NY Daily News. It all comes down to whether Sabathia opts out of his contract (which would be walking away from $92M), allowing another big money club to bid with presumably more money and more years.
All of this assumes several things, including Boston's ability to sign yet another giant contract, the Yankees inability to compete on that contract (which seems unlikely), Sabathia choosing to opt out of his current contract, and new Boston GM Cherington's yet-untested willingness to gamble. It may not be that easy as just throwing money at CC, though:
The Red Sox may already have too many big contracts to pursue Sabathia - they are already paying Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett and they have to find dollars for David Ortiz and a closer because Jonathan Papelbon is a free agent.
The Yankees aren't likely to go down without swinging and will likely offer a 5 or 6-year extension along with a raise over his current $23M/year contract, according to George King III at the NYPost. The goal is to sign him to a new offer before he opts out before the three days after the World Series his current contract requires. Until then, the Yankees have exclusive negotating rights with Sabathia. After that, it's game time for a team like Boston.
This is obviously all speculation, but Lackey's surgery could create an interesting ripple effect throughout the league. If Boston loses Lackey, that creates a need by a club that isn't shy on spending. If the Yankees lose Sabathia to an aggressive Cherington eager to make a splash, that creates a need by a club with even any more money to spend. And the dominoes would continue to fall.
So let's say you're in the big chair at Fenway and get a call from CC's agent Brian Peters...do you pursue? If not CC, then who?