Would you sign CC Sabathia? For how long and for how many years?
I just went into full detail about how bad these long-term free agent pitching contracts almost always are. So this is what I would do if I were Yankees GM Brian Cashman:
My initial offer would be for five years and $125 million. This is a fair starting point. It bumps Sabathia up to $25 million per year, giving him the highest average annual value ever for pitcher. It also tacks one more season on to his contract, making him a Yankee until he is 37.
If Sabathia wants to shop for a sixth year, I would tell him to go for it, but we want you. If Sabathia can find a six-year contract for the same money, I would match it. Sabathia has repeatedly said he loves it in the Bronx, this would be his chance to prove it.
Now, this is where it could get dicey and the column I linked to above gains more significance for me. If Sabathia gets a seventh year at $25 million per year, I would let him walk.
I just think having Sabathia at that dollar figure until he is 39 is not worth it. That money is an asset and I think you are buying too many potentially bad/injured seasons. Even at six, you might be only getting three good and three bad years. But, I would risk it at six, but the probability at seven is that you are going to get at least three average or below average seasons. At least.
If Sabathia walked, I would allocate that Sabathia money in other ways to try make up for what would be a huge loss; especially in the short term.There are many ways to build a championship team.
What do you think? What would be your plan if you were the Yankees GM?