The Yankees expect CC Sabathia is going to remain with the Yankees beyond 2011

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CC Sabathia has an opt-out clause he can exercise after this season, but Buster Olney is talking to Yankees people, and they say that they expect Sabathia to say in New York beyond 2011.

Which doesn’t mean that Sabathia won’t opt-out.  Indeed, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees and they want to keep him, he’d be crazy not to opt-out in order to get some extra bucks.  Or to at least threaten it in the hopes of getting an extension. Though it should be remembered that the Yankees, as a rule, don’t negotiate during the season or before players actually become free agents. Olney’s followup story makes is clear that the Yankees will not be talking to Sabathia in-season.

But let’s be real: the Yankees have zero leverage. They need Sabathia. There is nothing approaching a replacement for him on the free agent market this winter.  Barring injury, he’s in the driver’s seat. And even if he got injured he still might be, assuming it wasn’t anything super serious.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.