A look into the future of CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia’s days with the Yankees, or even in Major League Baseball, might be numbered. The veteran pitcher is entering the final season of his contract that he signed prior to the 2009 season. After his alcohol rehab stint in October 2015 and multiple knee and shoulder surgeries in recent years, his future is uncertain after this season. Sabathia will probably have a couple of options following the 2017 campaign, and most notably retirement. Though, he could explore other options such as a short-term deal with another team or even with the Yankees.
Photo Credit: Rick Schultz | Getty Images


Sabathia will be 37-years-old in July, and with multiple surgeries to his knee and shoulder, time is not on his side. But on the other hand, his performance in 2016 reminded me of the way Andy Pettitte pitched in his last few years with the Yanks. They both were good for about five or six innings and usually kept the Yankees in the game before handing it over to the bullpen. 

What was Andy Pettitte’s key to elongating his career? He learned how to throw a cutter as he relied more on the movement rather than the velocity. Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte taught Sabathia how to throw a cutter to cope with losing velocity on his fastball. It seemed to work in 2016 as Sabathia posted his best ERA since 2012 at 3.91. He also had a 9-12 record and 152 strikeouts in 30 starts. After dominating from 2009 to 2012, Sabathia began to decline in 2013 when injuries and fatigue, resulting in lower pitch velocity, became a regular occurrence. Learning the cutter might have made his career last a little longer.

After the 2017 season it would not surprise me if another team offered him a lot less money to pitch for a year or two. However, I doubt a serious World Series contender would pursue the aging and injury-prone lefty. I also would not be surprised if the Yankees offered him a one-year deal. Sabathia is a great team guy and a good veteran to have around for the youth movement. He’s one of the most fun and competitive players I’ve ever watched and I would not be opposed to the idea of watching him play another season in pinstripes. He brings a certain intensity to the mound when he pitches that is rare to see in the game today. With the future of the Yankees’ starting rotation in question and no real answers in sight, why not bring him back?
Besides, who doesn’t love a fired up CC?

Article by: Paul Alvaro

Comments