Sabathia Opts Out

CC Sabathia opting out of his contract is certainly not a surprise.  The Tigers being mentioned as a suitor is.  Sabathia is one of the best around, but I don’t like giving any pitcher long term contracts for that much.  Here’s a list of the biggest pitching contracts in MLB history – have any of these worked out? (Thank you Cot’s for the research)

– Sabathia – $161M for 7
– Santana $137.5m for 6
– Zito $126M for 7
– Hampton $121M for 8
– Lee $120M for 5 (he’s only 1 year into his deal)
– Kevin Brown $105M for 7
– Zambrano $91.5M for 5

Off the top of my head, only Sabathia performed at the top of the league for multiple years…so as a result he’s asking for more…  I don’t blame him, it’s a free market and a well negotiated contract.  But I certainly hope that the Tigers don’t lock themselves into anything like that.  FYI – Tigers 2010 payroll of $105M was 10th in the league.  Yankees’ was 1st at $202M.


14 thoughts on “Sabathia Opts Out”

  1. Interesting offseason in store, especially as regards LH “ace” starters. I don’t go along with long-term contracts for SPs either, but some owner/gm will feel obligated to go that route (after initially denying it, of course).

    FA salaries in general will continue to spiral up I’m guessing. Coming to a stadium near you soon: $40 bleacher seats (foul territory) and $10 hotdogs and beers.

  2. Supply and demand…isn’t that the nature of the business? Charge what the market will bear. Eventually the balloon will burst, like real estate.

    Would the addition of CC put us in the realm of Philadelphia? Those were unbelievable expectations going into this season, but leading the majors in wins proves its all about pitching. I think it’s easier to get 5 top notch pitchers, rather than 9 top notch hitters. Besides, we tried loading up on hitters in ’08, ugh.

    I would spend $20M on CC rather than renew DY and sign free agents at 2B and 3B.

  3. Sabathia opted back in. He’s staying in NY, as they added another year at $30M. So does that make CJ Wilson the top LH FA out there? If so, we may have to wait til Feb to find out what happens as his price will surely get bid up.

    I’d like to see the Tigers add a good lefty starter. Are there any out there? Maybe via trade? In any case, they need to replace Very Bad Brad. What about trading Porcello? – then we’d need 2 starters and I don’t think Turner and Oliver are options yet, frankly. And what about JaKKKson? I don’t think he should be inviolable, especially if we can pick up a REAL leadoff hitter.

  4. CC would have been nice, but probably not at that price.

    I don’t understand the important being placed on having a left-handed starter. If all our pitchers are of the same hand, I don’t see how it really matters unless you get into the playoffs against a team whose stars are mostly of the opposite hand.

    With hitters, I can see why you might want a mix, so that you can platoon and pinch-hit depending on who the pitcher is. But you can’t make any decisions like that regarding your starting pitching rotation. So, it seems to me it is best just to have the 5 best pitchers you can get, regardless of handedness.

    Can anyone explain what I’m missing?

    1. From my point of view, it is a matter of getting a variety of different “looks” to present to your opposition in any given series. For exmple, from the ’06 rotation, having a soft-tossing lefty (Kenny Rogers) situated between 2 hard throwing righties (say Verlander and Bonderman) would enhance the particular advantages each pitcher would have as against having 3 similar types of pitcher in succession. We all know that in a single game situation a pitcher who mixes his stuff well (as compared to throwing nothing but fastballs) is more effective. Mixing in different “looks” over several games serves the same purpose on a broader scale. Of course, you want the best rotation possible regardless of handedness, but having a lefty in that mix gives better balance.

    1. I’d take Buerhle.

      1. Verlander
      2. Fister
      3. Buerhle
      4. Scherzer
      5. Porcello (?)

      And in that order I might add – none of this having your No. 5 starter pitch after Verlander like Leyland did with Penny this past year.

      But 4 years at 54M – what is Tony Paul smoking?

      1. Yeah, we could probably get him at a reduced price if they move quickly before Wilson sets the market. And what’s not to like? Porcello as fifth starter? Two years ago there was a debate whether Nate “innings eater (read: BP city)” Robertson was better than the D-Train at 5, and now we could have a 14 game winner there (if we sign Buerhle). Barring injury, that is a phenomenal starting staff.

  5. Congrats to Avila on the Silver Slugger, but Miguel Cabrera was shamefully robbed. Best hitter in AL by some measures apparently isn’t the best-hitting first baseman?

    1. Hmmm….

      JV is going to announce that he’s a hometown hero and he’s donating half of his salary to charity?


      He is going to announce that his sick net worth is about to get much sicker?

      I pick option 2, he sounds excited for himself. 😉

      My hope is that he’s announcing that he’s pitching for a new team because of a 19 team trade involving 428 players and that the Tigers will have a brand new roster with nobody returning. 🙂

      1. If you missed it, his announcement tweet was:

        Announcement: Excited to be cover athlete for @2KSports #MLB2K12. Dream come true and can’t wait for the March release

  6. Why on earth would Sabathia opt out of playing for a team that competes for the World Series year in and year out. That’s the reason you play the game. It’s not like he needs more money. And how many teams have that kind of money?

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