As widely anticipated, CC Sabathia is planning to opt out of the remaining four years of his contract prior to Monday night’s deadline, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports.
The Associated Press says that the Yankees have made Sabathia a new offer in an attempt to get him to forgo opting out. Sabathia has $92 million left on the seven-year, $161 million contract he signed with the Yankees after the 2008 season.
Heyman states that the Yankees remain the favorites to sign Sabathia, but that the 31-year-old left-hander does plan to explore his options. Heyman lists the Red Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Blue Jays and Rangers as candidates to put in bids.
Sabathia could be in line something like $150 million over six years as part of a new contract. That would give him a $25 million annual salary, compared to the $23 million he’d be giving up by opting out.
Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.
Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.
It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.
Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.