MLB Rumors: New York Yankees Could Release CC Sabathia From Roster This Offseason
It wasn't the finish the New York Yankees wanted, but the 2015 Major League Baseball season ended pretty bad for the Bronx Bombers. A wild card playoff loss to the Houston Astros ended any hope of another World Series title.
The Yankees have a lot of work to do this offseason. One big decision the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman have to make surrounds pitcher CC Sabathia. According to multiple ESPN reports, Sabathia is not guaranteed a roster spot in 2016 at all.
This is a tough situation. The Dominican veteran certainly hasn't looked like himself recently, and everyone knows that. Sabathia has a mediocre 9-14 record and a 4.85 ERA over the last two seasons. Injuries have been piling up, and he continues to have issues with alcohol off the field. An overweight 35-year-old with knee problems would usually get cut immediately, but, as usual, money plays a factor.
The complication here is Sabathia's contract. Sabathia has a base salary of $25 million next season and another $25 million in 2017. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
"We've got a lot of guys who are going to be vying for those five spots. I'm not guaranteeing anybody anything,'' Cashman said. When asked specifically about Sabathia's status for next season Cashman simply said, "We'll see."
The only leverage Sabathia has is his contract status, but that only goes so far. The Yankees are going to pay Sabathia regardless. Many fans want Sabathia released because at least that would save a roster spot. Sure, it would result in a lot of "dead money," but this would be addition by subtraction. Sabathia doesn't have huge command on his fastball anymore, and he's simply not giving the Yankees enough production. In essence, you could very well make the argument that the Yankees are better off spending $50 million NOT to have Sabathia on the roster the next two seasons.
Sabathia's win percentage has decreased the last four consecutive seasons. With Sabathia's elite days as a starter in the past, maybe they could entertain the idea of him relieving in late innings. A possibility, but still a very unlikely scenario.
The other factor to consider here is competition for Sabathia. The Yankees are getting younger, especially in the pitching department. The top four pitchers, as far as wins, for the Yankees last season were Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, Masahiro Tanaka and Adam Warren. Those four players are all under the age of 28. Let's also not forget Luis Severino, who is just 21 years old. Severino had a fantastic rookie year this previous season with a 2.89 ERA. The 21-year-old out of the Dominican Republic shows a lot of promise. In all honesty, the Yankees pitching staff may be underrated heading into next season if Tanaka can just stay healthy.
David Price, Johnny Cueto and Zack Greinke are free agent pitching options.
The only other option for the Yankees is to trade Sabathia. A trade would be great for the Yankees because it would save a roster spot and a huge amount of money. But let's be honest and realistic, that's just not going to happen. No team is going to trade for Sabathia's contract at this point in his career.
Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1
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