CC Sabathia's options following the 2017 season

CC Sabathia is obviously no longer the same pitcher he was when he first signed his multi-year deal with the Yankees in 2008. So far in the 2017 season, he’s been one of the more consistent pitchers in the Yankees rotation, even though he has been on the 10-day disabled list twice. CC has started 24 games posting an 11-5 record, 3.85 ERA, 1.305 WHIP, and 105 strikeouts in 131 innings pitched. He’s far from his days as the Yankees workhorse, as he’s only gone 7+ innings three times this season. CC has clearly shown signs of his body slowing down and that will probably be the main factor in his decision following the 2017 campaign.
AP Photo | Patrick Semansky

Joe Girardi recently informed the media that CC’s scheduled start for Sunday (9/17) had been pushed back to avoid having Sabathia play on the artificial turf in Toronto later in the week. Instead, he will pitch against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday (9/19) at Yankee Stadium. Going into the rest of the regular season Sabathia will probably only have two more starts. If the Yankees stay in position for the top Wild Card spot they will be hosting the game on Tuesday, October 3rd. It is unlikely that CC would start the Wild Card game but if they advance they would probably use him in the ALDS.

There are a few options that I can see Sabathia pursuing in the offseason. If he performs well and avoids injury in his last few starts, it is possible that the Yankees could offer him a one-year deal for next season. Even though he’s no longer the ace of the staff he is still the veteran leader of the rotation and he can help  mentor the younger pitchers like Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery. Another option would be for him to sign a one-year deal with another team, although I can’t imagine a serious contender giving him that chance. The third, and I think most likely, option is for him to retire. CC has had a ton of injuries and surgeries in recent years and next season he will be 38-years old. With his injury history, I don't think many teams, including the Yankees, would want to take a chance that he misses a chunk of the 2018 season.

I think the best option for CC following the season would be to retire a Yankee. He's a fan favorite and I think the fans would give him a nice farewell. This is his eighth year with the Yanks, and I still think it would be hard to picture him in another uniform.

Article by: Paul Alvaro
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