The Yankees’ rotation has been an area of interest as we enter the offseason with the Yankees seemingly interested in every starter in the free agent and trade markets. There is good reason for this given that if there was one area that the team has some current holes in their roster, it would be in the rotation.
Part of the decision-making calculus was the fate of CC Sabathia. Sabathia was set to become a free agent and while he is not the power pitching, dominant force he once was, he still put up a strong 2018 season that saw him accumulated 2.3 rWAR with a 3.65 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 153 innings. Some wondered if Sabathia would pitch again at all (he did have some lingering aches and pains during the season) and others wondered if he would move on for his final season. It looks like he will be a Yankee after all.
Sabathia 1-yr, $8M deal is complete pending physical. #Yankees will hope Sabathia can give another solid 150IP and, at worst, perhaps tag-team a season with Jordan Montgomery who should be able to return from Tommy John surgery around midseason— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 6, 2018
It isn’t necessarily fair to expect CC to return to his prime or to even replicate his success from the 2018 season as he will be 38 years old when the season starts next year. However, he has been a reliable eater of innings throughout his career and, as Sherman notes, he doesn’t need to be a workhorse for all of 2019 as Jordan Montgomery should be back in action sometime next summer. For a one year, $8 million deal, it is hard to get much better value than that for the Yankees.
As for Sabathia, this looks to be his final year as a player. Other teams were interested in his services based on the reporting of others, but it is clear Sabathia’s preference was to remain in New York and both sides wanted to work something out quickly.