It’s hard to imagine Sabathia leaving the Yankees, because they could just add a couple of years to the already massive deal. But what if the Red Sox sweeten the pot and add more years and money? Sabathia is obviously a great pitcher, and while the Sox already have three top starters in Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett, how good would a staff look with Sabathia as well?
“I guess you never know how things like that will work out,’’ said a major league source, “but I think everyone would be stunned if he opted out of his deal just to go to another team. I think CC likes New York and the tradition, and he obviously responds very well to not only being the No. 1 pitcher there but the pressure of playing there. I suppose Boston would offer him the same type of situation, but if any team can take care of his financial needs, it’s the Yankees.’’
Sabathia signed a seven-year, $161 million deal with a well-placed opt-out clause after this season. He’s scheduled to earn $23 million per year through 2015. If you’re the Yankees, do you add two or three more years? Would any team go up to $25 million-$27 million a year for a pitcher, even one of Sabathia’s status?
“He’s been so durable,’’ said the major league source. “He can pitch with the weight, he’s proven that. The problem is, will he be able to pitch with the weight in year six or seven of that deal if you add more years? Are you better off keeping the current length and just adding more money to the existing contract?’’
Do the Red Sox need to get involved? Probably not. But it could take perhaps the biggest piece of their biggest rival away from them.