Report: Yankees, CC Sabathia to discuss contract this weekend

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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.

Brewers, Jimmy Nelson avoid arbitration with one-year, $3.7 million contract

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Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers and starter Jimmy Nelson have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7 million contract. The deal includes a $50,000 bonus if he wins Comeback Player of the Year Award, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Nelson, 29, was entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. The right-hander missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing shoulder surgery in September 2017. He had a solid 2017 season, finishing with a 3.49 ERA and a 199/48 K/BB ratio in 1751/3 innings of work. The Brewers are hoping he can return to form this coming season.

Assuming he’s healthy and productive, he will rejoin a rotation that now includes Jhoulys Chacin, Chase Anderson, Zach Davis, and an as yet undecided No. 5 starter.