Well, here’s a surprise.
CC Sabathia just announced that he has agreed to a contract extension with the Yankees.
Most expected Sabathia would opt out of the remaining four years and $92 million on his contract and test free agency, but both sides worked hard to hammer out a new deal before tonight’s deadline.
As Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports, this essentially is a one-year contract extension. Sabathia will earn $25 million in 2016 while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com hears that the contract includes a $25 million vesting option for 2017 or a $5 million buyout. The 31-year-old left-hander is now guaranteed $122 million over the next five years, or $24.4 million per year, which tops Cliff Lee ($24 million) for the highest average annual value for a pitcher.
UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the option for 2017 automatically vests unless Sabathia ends the 2016 season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, spends more than 45 days on the disabled list in 2016 due to a shoulder injury or makes at least six relief appearances in 2016 due to shoulder issues.
UPDATE II: The Yankees are currently holding a conference call and have sent out a press release. This baby is official.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.