C.C. Cashes in, Set to Become Bronx Bomber

The New York Yankees, not to be outdone by the Mets KROD signing, are all set to sign C.C. Sabathia to a lucrative deal, which would be the biggest total package ever paid to a pitcher. The seven year, $161 million dollar deal, breaks down to $23 million per annum, which would still leave the Mets Johan Santana with the highest yearly pay. A BIG deal for a BIG man, Sabathia, a lefty, stands 6’7″ and weighs in excess of 250 pounds. He’ll need all of his girth if he’s going to carry the weight of bringing a title to the Yankees on his shoulders, if you don’t win it all, you’re a loser, according to the Yankees. It’s not at all about, how you play the game.

Where does the potential signing of Ace Sabathia leave the Yankees? Well first off, with the retirement of Mike Mussina, they start off 20 wins shy of their last year win total of 89. They also don’t have Andy Pettitte, a 14 game winner in 2008, locked up. But here is what Pettitte’s former skipper Joe Torre had to say, “He was always married to the Yankees, the excitement playing for the Yankees. I called him only because his agent called Ned [Colletti, the Dodgers’ GM]. I certainly would’ve kicked myself [if I hadn’t called]. He never said no to anything, but just from talking to him, I know the Yankees are his first choice. I wasn’t about to talk him out of it, knowing Andy like I do.” So it looks like Sabathia in the number one slot, followed by Chien-Ming Wang, then comes Andy Pettitte, leaving two spots in the rotation. There has been speculation the Yankees are trying to sign oft-injured righthander Ben Sheets to a two year, $30 million dollar deal, and they’re said to be in the hunt for Derek Lowe and/or A.J. Burnett. The other options are youngsters Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, but New York is a tough place to grow up.

Here’s what Yankee fan TomB, a friend of DonS thinks of the Sabathia signing. The Yanks are also close to signing Derek Lowe and are aggressively going after Ben Sheets. You might think Lowe isn’t much of a signing, but another sinker ball pitcher in Yankee Stadium (along with Chien-Ming Wang) could be just what the doctor ordered. The signing of Sabathia will move Wang down to #2, which is where he probably belongs. So you don’t think a rotation of Sabathia, Wang, Sheets/Burnett, and Lowe, with Mariano as the closer (and Chamberlain either as setup or starter) will be effective? Yanks won 89 games last year (20 by Mussina and with Wang on the DL) with crappy pitching. The signing of Sabathia and one other could bump that win total up over 100.

Here is what DonS’ brother KeithS had to say. I do think that Lowe is a great sinker ball pitcher and would be a good fit in Yankee Stadium. My gut tells me he will not sign with the Yankees, but I must say, I have been wrong before. Ben Sheets middle name is DL, so to count on him for an entire year, would be a mistake. Is Wang healthy? Burnett has the hill in his rear view mirror. Playing in NY is not like playing in LA or Milwaukee or Toronto, either. Also Giambi & Abreu missing from the middle of the lineup changes the lineup tremendously.

What do I think? Well, DUH, it’s a no brainer! Any time you can add a pitcher of C.C.’s tremendous talents, without losing anything, it’s a good thing. And you have to remember, the Yankees aren’t like any other franchise, if they need more money, no problem. Sabathia has a lifetime winning percentage of .616, playing almost exclusively for the Cleveland Indians, but then he really turned it on, when in a playoff hunt with Milwaukee last year, he almost single handedly pitched the Brewers into the post season. This guy seems to thrive on pressure! All that said, the Yanks need to do more, they’re wrong if they’re counting on Nick Swisher to replace either Bobby Abreu or Jason Giambi in the lineup, and then there’s the matter of a catcher.

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