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Report: Rangers prepared to throw ‘boatload of money’ at CC Sabathia this winter

Oct 13, 2011, 6:28 PM EDT

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Yankees ace CC Sabathia has stated time and time again that he wants to remain in New York, but all signs point to him opting out of his contract this winter in order to gain a few more years and dollars.

In order to secure those years and dollars, though, Sabathia will need other interested suitors.

The Yankees won’t open their wallets unless given a reason — an opponent or two willing to meet or exceed the already-lofty salaries on his current deal.

Enter the AL West champion Rangers.

A “baseball source” told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York this week that the Texas front office is preparing to make a significant bid for the 31-year-old left-hander with the expectation that he will indeed opt out after the World Series.

“I hear they’re going to throw a boatload of money at him,” said the source, who requested anonymity, “But I think he’ll stay with the Yankees. He’s talked so much about how much he loves New York, and besides, the Yankees can’t afford to lose him from that pitching staff.”

Sabathia posted a 3.00 ERA and 230/61 K/BB ratio in 237 1/3 innings this season for the American League East champion Yankees. It’s hard to imagine baseball’s biggest spenders letting him go, especially with their lack of rotation depth. But Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels and Co. are apparently going to give it a whirl.

  1. foreverchipper10 - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    It would be interesting if CC went to Texas and CJ went to New York.

  2. dondada10 - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    The “source” may very well be C.C.’s agent trying to stir the pot.

    • florida727 - Oct 14, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      “Sabathia posted a 3.00 ERA and 230/61 K/BB ratio in 237 1/3 innings this season for the American League East champion Yankees.”
      I’ve always been of the opinion that the problem with professional sports in general, and baseball in particular, is that too much is paid for PAST performance instead of what an individual contributes to their current team.

      Just once, I’d love to see a GM put together a contract with a ‘reasonable’ base salary, and then the bulk of the money being tied to incentives, especially incentives relative to past performance. Okay, CC, last year you had a 3.00 ERA. If you match it this year, that’s an extra $2 million. Lower it to 2.90, $3 million more. Lower it to 2.80, $5 million. If it goes up, but stays below 3.50, that’s an extra million. Maintain a 1-to-1 strikeout to innings ratio, extra $3 million. Improve on it, $4 million. Hit at least 0.75 strikeouts per inning pitched, $1.5 million.

      Oh yeah, TEAM wins the East/Central/whatever division, you get an extra $1 million.

      Past performance is no guarantee of future success. Any businessman in America can tell you that.

      • Loren - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        You haven’t seen any contracts like that because the player’s union doesn’t allow them. Any incentives have to be stuff like plate appearances, innings pitched, or games finished instead of hits, ERA, or saves.

      • bagamer - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        Although an idea it doesn’t work that way. Not only is it not allowed in baseball to have incentives for performance stats it’s unrealistic because your income is then based on other people’s performances as well. You say that if he had an ERA again of 3.00 that he would get an extra $2 million. Now you’re pitcher has to depend on every other player on the field to make the plays but you are also basing this that the official scorer gets every questionable call right as well. Can you imagine how many players would be pissed at other players and score keepers?

        What is allowed is basing bonuses on things like Plate Appearances, pitching appearances and the like. I remember way back in the early 90’s, Hal Morris had an incentive in his contract for number of plate appearances and he needed just one more to get it but the Reds made the last out of the season with Morris in the on deck circle.

      • Cris E - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        Even if it were allowed you’d see a lot of disdain from player agents. Why have the player take the risks? There are teams out there that’ll put the money on the table without the strings, so unless the upside was monsterously high there’s no incentive.

  3. presidentmiraflores - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    The Yankees won’t open their wallets unless given a reason

    The same Yankees who bid against themselves to give A-Rod a $275 million contract when he opted out?

    • paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:41 PM

      …and the same ones that are paying Jeter $17M per for the next 3 years when no other team would have given him $17M for 3 years?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:27 PM

        To be fair the Yankees had good reason to bid for their Captain… about 3000 of them…

    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 14, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      I think the Phillies should make Hunter Pence a team captain. THey cold even make a children’s book series about him.

  4. shawon0meter - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    He’s too fat for Texas summers

    • lukeslice - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:51 PM

      He’s actually always pitched better in the heat…

  5. proudlycanadian - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Go for it. A bidding war would hurt either team in the long run. Before the contract expires expires, he will be in decline and the fans will be grumbling. Zito, Zambrano, and Lackey all over again.

    • bigharold - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:40 PM

      In fact Zito and Lackey actually pretty much stunk from the moment that they signed their deals. Unless your predicting that Sabathia will go off the cliff production wise than that isn’t exactly an accurate comparison.

      The only issue that faces Sabathia is; will his weight start becoming an issue. There is nobody that can say to a certainty whether it will or not. But, if I had to wager I’d bet that Sabathia will remain a front of the rotation starter for the next three to four years. And, I could see him getting smarter as he gets older and becoming a very effective pitcher into his late 30s as was Pettitte.Sabathia has proved his worth not only with his production but also by being a consummate pro and great teammate. I follow the Yankees to a fault and have yet to read or see one negative thing about the guy in three years.

      There are no sure things in life but Sabathia is about as sure as it gets. He is worth the gamble for a 6-7 year contract at about 25 mil per, … and he’ll likely get it. I hope it’s from the Yankees.

  6. tashkalucy - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    I said before the playoffs started that the Red Sox-Yankee thing was going to end.

    The tipping point is now.

    And I said I could see CC leaving the Yankees.

    And I got flamed on both points.

    But time will prove me correct.

    It’s already started………..

    • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:24 PM

      You’ll get flamed on this post too Harry Potter.

      Sox – Yanks rivalry is till alive and well.

      CC has an opt out clause, so anyone who understands what that means could see CC leaving. However, it won’t happen. The Rangers will not win a bidding war against the Yankees. They are losing Posada’s contract, and will not lose CC’s as well, especially when the Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, and Phillies will not be involved.

      If the Rangers throw enough money at CC, they win. They either sign CC or hurt NY’s chances of signing CJ or Prince, or whoever else they really have their eye on. If the Rangers sign CC, it will be on accident.

      • tashkalucy - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:34 PM

        “Sox – Yanks rivalry is till alive and well.”


        Just don’t put it on America.

        They can fight with the Orioles for 3rd place in the AL East for the next 5-7 years.

      • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:53 PM

        You aren’t making any sense. One of the 2 didn’t make the playoffs 3 of the past 4 years, so what are you trying to say? You “called it” 4 years after it started? Major League Baseball is a business. If you really think they, Fox, Tbs, ESPN, MLB Network, and every .com will stop hyping the rivalry because the Sox lost the last game of the season in a walk off, and the Yankees lost a postseason series, go back to business school.
        Sox and Yanks= massive profit.

        On the baseball side of things, Lester, Bucholtz, Beckett, Bedard, Daisuke. Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzo, Youk, Papi.

        Name 2 better rotations in the AL. Name 1 better lineup in either league.

        Realistically, they have 5 Cy Young contenders, and 6 MVP cadidates, so to write them off because of a bad month is kind of foolish.

      • Ari Collins - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:55 PM

        The Cy Young candidates thing is a massive stretch (and Bedard is a FA, isn’t he?). Otherwise, right on.

      • tashkalucy - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:04 PM


        OK, everything you said is correct.

        So explain to a dumb guy like me why both these teams are out of the playoffs.

        What is it about reality that you have a problem with?

        MLB is now playoff-driven.

        Thak your stats to the marketing department to sell tickets to people like you.

        In the playoff guys have to make clutch lays on O and D. They have to manufacture runs at times. They have to pitch clutch.

        The Red Sox and Yankees players believe the same bs about themselves that you do. And when it comes time to show up big they can’t do it.

        Manny was the guy that made it easy for all the other Red Sox players. He’s gone. Jeter and Mariano were the guys setting the tone for the Yankees. They’e older. The don’t even have a legitimate starting pitcher after CC.

        Sorry fella, but throwing money at A-Rod, Mark Texeria, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez may get you the best stats on your fantasy league team…..but the problem is, in MLB they have to play against other players in big games that are trying hard….and they don’t do well there.

      • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:09 PM

        If educated voters voted, then yes, 5 Cy Young candidates is pushing it. However they don’t have educated voters. Their #5 could win 20 games, which would absolutely garner some votes, without even looking at other stats.

        So more fairly, they have 3 legitimate Cy Young contenders, plus 2 additional Tim McCarver “the key to winning today’s game is to score more than the other team” Cy Young contenders. The point is their #4 and #5 will better than anyone’s than the Rays, but they will score a buttload more than the Rays. Go Rays nonetheless.

      • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:26 PM

        “So explain to a dumb guy like me why both these teams are out of the playoffs.”

        Dumb luck. Realistically, that is my best answer.

        Papelbon blew his first save in the final game. The Rays overcame 7 runs in 5 outs. The Rays had a rookie with 1 career start throw a shutout, then had both of their aces lose. Shields struckout a guy, but a wild pitch allowed a guy to score from third, and the strikeout victim to reach, and later come around to score. Those 2 runs were the difference in victory and defeat. If Adrian Beltre doesn’t homer 3 times in game 4, and Kelly Shoppach blocks that ball, the Rangers are out.

        If Cabrera doesn’t hit a ball off the bag, if Avila and Delmon Young hit their balls 2 feet shorter, they are outs. Inches made up the difference of the could have been eliminated Rangers going to the World Series or not.

        Maybe you just don’t understand how come post season, a bad pitch, or a bad hop determines a success from a failure.

        Dumb Luck determined The Rays, the Sox, The Rangers, The Yanks, the Braves, the Cards, the Phils seasons. A better bounce, a key hit, a different pitch, and some of these teams are still playing.

  7. frankvzappa - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    It would be worth the money for the Rangers to not only get an ace, but to completely destroy one of their biggest rivals in AL. Without CC, the Yankees rotation would be worse than that of the September Red Sox.

    • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:26 PM

      Huh. No one died, and yet FrankVZappa has a comment.

      that’s a first.

      • frankvzappa - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:08 PM

        I’ll have plenty of comments when you kick off, d-bag.

      • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:27 PM

        The class act frankvzappa regarding the news of Hideki Irabu’s suicide:

        “i wonder if it was a seppuku…”

        “Too soon? It’s a new thumbs down record! ”

        The class act frankvzappa being called out by myself, Cur, and drmonkeyarmy, in surprise, another terrible comment laughing at a fellow human beings death:

        stay classy frank

    • tashkalucy - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      With or without CC, the Yankees are no longer anything worth worrying about.

      Red Sox either.

      Bloated payrolls. Entitlement players. Overrated front offices. The biggest front running fan in America that will turn o the very same plays like a rich kid that didn’t get the shiny sports car they wanted from Daddy.

      Sorry, but too many teams have caught up to the Red Sox and Yankees. They don’t have it anymore, and the people on the inside know it. Theo sure does. And when he gets to Chicago the natinal media will find how just how super he truly is. To rate him as the best GM in MLB for years as the NE influenced national media has done is just nuts. he is going the way of Billy beane….a nice story for a few years, but look what’s been happening since……

      By the way, where are the box office knockout rating on the “Moneyball” movie? Got all that pub….it opened up….nothing heard from since. Is it on DVD yet? You mean America wasn’t interested in finding out the secrets of a guy that hasn’t made the playoffs in 5 years? Just thrashing around year-after-year.

      A lot of yuppie myths are beginning to bite the dust. The ‘steroid era’ was replaced by the ‘Ivy league Stats Genius’ era…..which wasn’t as good.

      Possible we return to real baseball people….like the GM’s and Managers of the 4 teams left in the playoffs?

      • tashkalucy - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:32 PM

        Dan Shannessey is fed up with the stat freaks running the Red Sox. Had this in the Boston Globe today.

        “The rebuilding of the brand can begin only when Epstein is officially gone. The Sox need to name Ben Cherington GM, then go about the business of regaining the fans’ trust. It would be nice if they’d hire a strong-willed field manager, but we fear they’re going to go with a no-name who’ll carry out the orders of Carmine the Computer, Tom Tippett, and Bill James.”

      • Ari Collins - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:49 PM

        Uhh. The Yankees had the best record in the AL last year. The Sox had the 5th best even after a terrible September. I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be fine.

        Keep makin’ shit up, though!

      • Ari Collins - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:53 PM

        And Dan Shaugnessy is fed up with anything that began after 1985.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:46 PM

        Dan Shannessey is fed up with the stat freaks running the Red Sox. Had this in the Boston Globe today.

        Quoting CHB to give your argument any legitimacy should automatically disqualify anything you have to say.

      • Jeremy T - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:53 PM

        Umm Moneyball has already grossed >$50 million and got 95% on rotten tomatoes. So… I think America was plenty interested.

      • Alex K - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        You mean like Cornell educated Jon Daniels? The guy that worked in the business world for a bit after he graduated from college. He is a grizzled baseball man if I ever saw one.

  8. randomdigits - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    With no state income tax the Rangers can significantly beat any Yankee offer by matching it.

    • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      Maybe Rick Perry can take him hunting at his ranch. I bet taking CC to “Niggerhead” would all but assure him to be a Yankee.

    • yournuts - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      The only problem is that you would have to live in Texas.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:48 PM

      That basically works out to about a 5% discount considering players have to pay income tax in the states they play in, so half the year that advantage goes out the window. Search the archives a year ago regarding cliff lee when that reasoning was debunked about 1000x.

  9. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    CC is still under contract with NY. Rangers have a call waiting from Bud about tampering.

    • Ari Collins - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:50 PM

      It’s not tampering to plan to bid on a FA if he becomes available. And that’s if the source is correct.

    • jwbiii - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:37 PM

      The anonymous source probably didn’t leave his number.

  10. Ari Collins - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    It’ll help Sabathia to have rumored suitors. Truth, though, is that the Yankees will make him an absurd offer even before he has a chance to opt out.

  11. yankeesgameday - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    If cc goes anywhere else he becomes Giant. You heard it here first folks. I put more credence in Andy Pettite unretiring to play for the Rangers next year than I do cc.

    • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:31 PM

      Yeah, Eli could use a bigger guy blocking for him.

      Oh you meant the SF Giants. I always thought that their offense was good enough, and if they were to upgrade, they better upgrade their pitching.

      On second thought, you must have meant Eli’s blindside.

      • hittfamily - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:45 PM

        Crap. Of course both of the Giants have the only 2 guys named Eli that didn’t invent the cotton gin. My joke referred to Manning, not Whiteside.

  12. uyf1950 - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    If the Rangers are willing to go 6 years guaranteed and possibly a 7th year vested at upwards of $25M per more power to them. If they also intend to resign CJ Wilson to 5 or 6 years about $17M plus per. Then somehow resign Hamilton, Kinsler and all the arbitration eligible players and keep their payroll under $160M next the year or 2 they are kidding themselves.

    My guess is even if the source is “accurate” about thier intentions with CC which I highly doubt then they lose CJ. In that case what have the Rangers really gained. I would not be surprised if this was a “rumor” started by someone in the Rangers organization because they are pretty well assured of the Yankees making a play for CJ. Or Sabathia’s agent trying to get the Yankees to pony up some extra money or years.

    In either case, with both CJ Wilson and CC Sabathia their current teams will have a pretty good indication of what’s going on in the players head during the exclusive negotiating period. If CC is as interested in staying with the Yankees as much as he seems to profess then he’ll sign during the exclusive period and I would think the same applies to Wilson.

    • protectthishouse54 - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      Another interesting wrinkle is the presence of Yu Darvish. The Rangers claim to be in the running there too. We’ll see how many they get. I’m sure they’d be happy with two out of three, as would the Yankees (though the Yanks may steer clear of Darvish altogether after getting burned by Japanese pitchers in the past).

      Ultimately, I think the Rangers are blowing smoke right now. Cashman admitted to bidding up Crawford last offseason. If he didn’t know that other teams would do the same, then he’s an idiot.

  13. dirtyharry1971 - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    The Yanks will not only keep CC but they will take CJ away from texas and the rangers will not be in the postseason next season because of it. Oh and the Jays will finish in 4th place AGAIN in 2012 no matter what happens

  14. yournuts - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    First of all if Texas moved to try to sign CC, the Yankees would outbid them, and as retaliation to Texas the Yankees would go after CJ Wilson and he would be wearing pinstripes next spring.
    As far as the Yankees, Red Sox rivalry being over I have to ask you one simple question? Are you stupid?

  15. Jeremy T - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    ugghh this comment thing again? Not cool, HBT, not cool.

  16. ajbarrell - Oct 14, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Both teams will be as good or better next year. People are making way to big of a deal about boston and ny. Yanks even if they keep payroll the same nextyear will have agood chunk of change to find a starter, Hughes hopefully is healthy and average->above average nextyear.

    Boston man minus youk (who’s prolly always gonna be hurt alot from now on) they cant get this unlucky injury wise again can they? Between Drew,papi cameron, varitek they’ll have money to play with or even if they add noone but filler they’ll be atleast a few games better next year. If i was them id offer Papi Arbitrition and a good 2 maybe 3year deal tops, he takes it great if not hes a great player but hes a DH not worth the risk of him falling off a cliff with age. Also do alot of dumpster diving for starters, look what the yanks got out of 2 min cost FA’s pitching is weird <.<.

    The playoffs are a crapshoot especially the first round no real way to predict anything typically. Get in hope your hot/lucky and collect WS. This year i think the cards are that team so far got another 1.5 rounds of games tho.

  17. psousa1 - Oct 14, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    It would be refreshing to see NY say ‘bleep off CC’ and either offer him his current terms or tell him to screw but NY has a history of caving. ARod opts out, they talked tough then gave him a raise. They bid against themselves on Jeter. They have the power to re-set the market if they tell him to pound sand. Others will think twice.

    • lazlosother - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      Not really. If they don’t deal with him someone else will. Say Texas, or the Sox. Both Philly and Texas were able to make offers to Lee that were very close to NY’s. CC will get the years and money regardless of NY’s involvement. Also, it would be comically stupid for NY to screw themselves out of their ace because he dared to use a clause in his contract that they willingly gave him.

      ARod can still be productive if healthy, but that contract will be an albatross in a few years. Jeter wasn’t that bad this year overall, and has only two years left (plus a player option at 8 Mil). His contract doesn’t affect the market at all – this was a deal you do for the face of the franchise, to keep the fan base happy and keep the captain a Yankee. I don’t think anyone realistically expected his on field performance to match the dollar value. If he uses the option, NY can do a one year 8 mil deal without blinking.

  18. pjcostello - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    In the Rangers’ position, I would call up Philadelphia and offer them Ian Kinsler or Michael Young straight-up for Cole Hamels. The Phillies need a bat, specifically in the infield, and the Rangers would get a pitcher 4 years younger than CC Sabathia for less dollars. Win-win.

    • Alex K - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:42 AM

      That would never happen. I can give you three reasons why.

      1) Hamels is the Phillies most valuable asset. He is a great starting pitcher in his prime years. There is really no reason to trade a player like that when your team is in win now mode.

      2) Kinsler is too fragile to be a return for Hamels. Yes, Kinsler is awesome, but to reach his full awesomeness he needs to stay on the field. Young isn’t nearly good enough at baseball to be traded straight up for Hamels. Young is an awful defender, and he’s not an elite hitter. He’s a good hitter, but the value his bat provides doesn’t match the value that Hamels does.

      3) The Phillies were the best team in baseball this year. There is no reason to make a panic move. Anything can happen in a 5 game series.

  19. Panda Claus - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    The Rangers aren’t signing CC Sabathia. They got cold feet over Cliff Lee and probably could have kept him had they thrown that boatload o’ cash his way.

    Their own CJ Wilson is going to get probably more interest than CC even. I just don’t buy this theory.

    Maybe the source was really talking about the NY Rangers?

  20. - Oct 14, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    I’m not sure I buy this. But what I am buying is the Rangers becoming a team that becomes a factor in every FA bidding war should they have a need.

    They just signed that deal with FSN, they are in a big market that’s still growing, and they have an aggressive owner.

    Rangers have been in the post season the last two years. Better plan on them being there and contending year after year going forward.

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