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.