It’s no secret that CC Sabathia can (and will) opt out of his Yankee contract in nine days. The burly lefty, who could be entering the fourth year of his, seven-year, $161 million deal, has been the definition of consistent. Since 2007, Sabathia has won at least 17 games, struck out 197 batters, and had an ERA under 3.37 in each of those five seasons. Sabathia recently turned 31 years old and is one of the game’s durable, left-handed aces. However, Sabathia had issues with his weight during the second half of the season and was ineffective during the playoffs. With that being said, is there any way that the Yankees could let Sabathia walk once he opts out?

Jigga W/ CC--AP Photo

1. Weight Issues--Baseball history does not feature any burly left-handed aces as true benchmarks. Sure, David Wells was fat, left-handed, and threw a perfect game, but he wasn’t anywhere near as talented as CC. By re-signing CC to a seven-year deal, the Yankees must bank on Sabathia staying fit and in shape. (Feels pretty funny typing that up about a ‘professional’ athlete). His ineffectiveness was really apparent during the playoffs and some wondered whether the large workload plus his weight issues caused a decline in effectiveness.

2. Other Suitors–No other team can or will outspend the Yankees. The Yankees always live by the notion of–by any means necessary. Whether that’s doling out $275 million for A-Rod or $181 million for Teix, the Yanks get it done. However, there’s always one idiot or two (ahem, Tom Hicks and Hank Steinbrenner) that offer stupid contracts. Could a potential ‘mystery team’ offer Sabathia an eight-year deal for $190-$200 million? Would that be too much for the Yankees? Logic would say yes. The Yankees have been become much better with their spending habits and player development activities. A huge eight-year deal for Sabathia would be foolish.

3. Alternative Options

Ok, so the Yankees let CC walk. Now what? Well, they would need to find a replacement and find one rather quickly. The Yankees have the means necessary to trade for any player in the game. While this year’s free agent class only boasts one quality starter (C.J.Wilson), next year’s class is much more impressive. That class features Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, John Danks, Zack Greinke, Francisco Liriano, and Jonathan Sanchez. Personally, I have no interest in any of these pitchers. 

Sabathia’s agent can definitely argue that his client is the only one in baseball that provides left-handed stability and dominance. The questions about his weight is apparent, but the Big Man is showing no signs of slowing down. The Yankees can’t afford to lose CC and the Steinbrenner will throw a truck load of cash at him. He’s their ace and it’s the Yankees. Money is never an issue and won’t be in this situation.