Many have considered it a foregone conclusion that CC Sabathia will use the opt-out clause in his contract and hit free agency next week, but the Yankees are doing their best to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reports that the Yankees “will be talking extensively” with the agent for Sabathia this weekend and into Monday, if needed, in order to keep the 30-year-old left-hander in pinstripes for the long haul.
Sabathia’s current deal has four years and $92 million remaining, but while he would have no problem finding a bigger contract in a weak market for starting pitchers, Marchand writes that both sides are “highly motivated” to get a deal done.
Whether an agreement can be reached before Tuesday’s deadline or not, Sabathia is expected to set the bar for the highest average annual salary for a starting pitcher. Cliff Lee, who signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies last December, currently holds the highest average annual salary at $24 million.
The Miami Marlins have been stockpiling international bonus money of late and now that has paid off, as they just formally announced the signing of top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa.
They have also signed his brother, the less-regarded prospect Victor Mesa, Jr. It was, presumably, a package deal. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Victor Victor, 22, will receive about $5.25 million while his 17-year-old brother gets a $1 million bonus.
Victor Victor was ranked as the No. 1 player in this year’s international signing class. He’s a plus outfield defender with a strong arm and he has serious wheels as well. He played for Matanzas in Cuba’s Serie Nacional when he was only 16 and was 3-for-7 with two doubles for Cuba during last year’s World Baseball Classic.
Victor Mesa Jr. is a switch-hitting outfielder with potential, but unlike his brother, he’s like to spend considerable time in the minors. Most scouts believe Victor Victor will debut with the Marlins as early as next season.
The Mesa brothers are the son of Victor Mesa, who played in Serie Nacional from the 1970’s into the 1990s and starred on the Cuban national team. He has also managed in Cuba, in Mexico and for Cuba’s 2017 World Baseball Classic team.