CC Sabathia has agreed to return on a one-year contract that is reportedly worth $8 million with the New York Yankees. Sabathia, who first joined the organization prior to 2009, will play his 11th season in the Bronx in 2019. In 2018, he started 29 games with a record of 9-7 and a 3.65 ERA. In 153 innings pitched, he struck out 140 batters with a 1.31 WHIP and a 2.75 strike out-to-walk ratio.
The Yankees announced the signing Wednesday:
The New York Yankees announced today they have re-signed LHP CC Sabathia to a one-year contract for the 2019 season.
We wouldn't have it any other way. 👊 pic.twitter.com/KCFwCvUWhR
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) November 7, 2018
CC Sabathia Agrees to Deal with New York Yankees
Victory Lap in the Bronx
The 2019 season will be the final year of Sabathia’s career, which he recently announced roughly seven minutes into a sit down with Brandon Steiner of Steiner Sports. Sabathia has a legitimate case for the Hall of Fame and will continue to pad his resume in 2019.
He is only 14 strikeouts away from being just the 17th pitcher in history to record 3,000 strikeouts. Once that milestone is met, he will join Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton as the only left-handed pitchers to accomplish the feat.
Part of Sabathia’s legacy is his reputation as a durable innings eater. He averaged 213 innings pitched for the first 13 seasons of his career. Even after his decline in dominance, Sabathia still carries a career average of 193 innings pitched. This shows his durability throughout his entire career, including past his prime.
While the win has become a discredited statistic of late, Sabathia is four wins away from 250 for his career. This milestone will put him in the top 50 all time. Regardless of the modern thought on wins, being in the top 50 all time for a statistic used to measure greatness for over a century is a remarkable achievement.
In addition to these accolades, Sabathia has five, top-five finishes in the American League Cy Young award, including winning the award in 2007 as a member of the Cleveland Indians. He is also a six-time All-Star.
Fit for 2019 Yankees
Once upon a time, Sabathia was an ace. He carried the Milwaukee Brewers into the playoffs and won the ALCS MVP while leading the Yankees to a World Series title. Those days are long gone, but he is still a serviceable starting pitcher.
A knee injury cost him the 2014 season where he only pitched 46 innings, but he reinvented himself after that. Since 2015, he has started an average of 29 games, pitching an average of 162 innings each year. He also recorded an ERA under 4.00 in three of those four seasons, despite being in his mid to late 30s. This shows that he still has the ability to get outs and give length.
Leadership is a big reason for this signing as well. Sabathia has done it all at the major league level. He has been the dominant ace, shined in October, battled back from injuries, and shown his worth as a finesse pitcher. These experiences have played well in the locker room over the last few seasons, and the Yankees value that enough to want him back one more time.
In an era where even front-line starters struggle to give length, the Yankees expect Sabathia to give them 150 innings as a fifth starter. This ability, plus the leadership he has provided and accolades accomplished, made Sabathia a desirable choice for one more year in pinstripes.
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