Oct 28, 2011, 6:04 PM EDT
Many have considered it a foregone conclusion that CC Sabathia will use the opt-out clause in his contract and hit free agency next week, but the Yankees are doing their best to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reports that the Yankees “will be talking extensively” with the agent for Sabathia this weekend and into Monday, if needed, in order to keep the 30-year-old left-hander in pinstripes for the long haul.
Sabathia’s current deal has four years and $92 million remaining, but while he would have no problem finding a bigger contract in a weak market for starting pitchers, Marchand writes that both sides are “highly motivated” to get a deal done.
Whether an agreement can be reached before Tuesday’s deadline or not, Sabathia is expected to set the bar for the highest average annual salary for a starting pitcher. Cliff Lee, who signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies last December, currently holds the highest average annual salary at $24 million.
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