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Joe Girardi on CC Sabathia’s injury: “There’s always that possibility a player may not make it back”

May 21, 2014, 10:40 AM EST

CC Sabathia AP

CC Sabathia is out until at least July with a right knee injury, but as more details emerge about the stem cell treatment he received it’s clear that the Yankees really have no firm idea of when he’ll be back on the mound.

Manager Joe Girardi more or less said as much yesterday in talking to Brendan Kuty of the Newark Star Ledger:

I think there’s always that possibility a player may not make it back. But I feel pretty good about he’s had done so far and the steps that were taken, and you just kind of keep your fingers crossed.

As far as quotes go, “there’s always that possibility a player may not make it back” and “you just kind of keep your fingers crossed” are not an encouraging combination.

Sabathia is out for a minimum of six weeks, at which point he’d need multiple minor-league rehab starts to build back his arm strength. And even if he does return early in the second half, Sabathia has a 4.87 ERA in 40 starts dating back to last season. He’s a huge question mark and the Yankees still owe him another $75 million or so.

  1. 18thstreet - May 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    What happens if his career is over due to injury? Does he still get paid?

    • proudlycanadian - May 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      YES!

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

        I believe he has to continue doing whatever rehab or whatever else the team wants in order to continue getting paid. If he decides to retire because of the injury, the Yankees do not keep paying. Either way, I would imagine the team has his contract insured.

      • happytwinsfan - May 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        I applaud your support of economic justice for the working man, and your insistence that freely entered upon private contracts always be honored for the sake of a smoothly functioning civil society. We Americans have much to learn from our most civilized neighbors to the north.

      • proudlycanadian - May 21, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        The spirit of HHH lives on in Minnesota.

    • Kevin S. - May 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Yes. I’m fuzzy on the exact details, but I think if a doctor certifies the injury as career ending (not just any doctor, think has to be MLB-approved), insurance starts picking up some of the payments after half a season. I don’t know what affect this has on his luxury tax number with the Yankees.

      • 18thstreet - May 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        I guess I’m mostly interested in the luxury tax implications. And I wish I could ask these questions without feeling like I’m prematurely dancing on his career’s grave.

      • jwbiii - May 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        His salary would count for luxury tax purposes. Albert Belle is the last player I can think of who suffered a career ending injury, well, was diagnosed with a career ending medical condition, with several years left on his contract. He spent 2001-03 on the 60 day DL. Players on the DL do count for luxury tax purposes. There is no provision in the CBA for such injuries or medical contions. I also wish Sabathia no ill will,

  2. apkyletexas - May 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    You’re giving us Sabathia updates when there’s an awesome ear-biting-in-the-dugout story to cover? C’mon people.

    • sdelmonte - May 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Craig hasn’t posted much today. Maybe he hopped a quick flight to New Mexico to cover it. I know I would.

      • apkyletexas - May 21, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        If he did go onsite, then he better come back with a piece of the ear in a jar of alcohol. Ear-chunk or it didn’t happen.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      Those zany Cubans. What will they do next!

      • jwbiii - May 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Guerrero, the Cuban, may have half-assed a tag. It was Olivo, the Dominican, who was the zany guy in the incident.

  3. cmoney4949 - May 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    more money well spent by the yankees. Lets see how many players making more than $20 million a year can be on the DL at the same time. The payroll of their DL is more the half of the teams payroll.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - May 21, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      LOL- You knew SOMEONE had that comment holstered and ready to go. You’re right. All CC’s done in 5 full seasons with the Yankees prior to this year was average 223 innings, 17.6 wins, appear in 3 all-star games, and go 3-1 with an ERA under 2 on a World Series Champion. What a COLOSSAL waste of money.

      • chiadam - May 21, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        speaking of someone with a comment in the holster…

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - May 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        Touche.

      • 18thstreet - May 21, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        If the Yankees had opted not to resign him after he opted out, you could thoroughly gloat about the contract.

      • cmoney4949 - May 21, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        $75 million moving forward for his contract will be a COLOSSAL waste of money for a 4.87 ERA.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - May 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        He never opted out. He agreed to a one year, $25M extension with a $5M buyout. A pretty good deal coming off a 19-8 season in 2011. I’m not “gloating about his contract”, I’m merely pointing out that it certainly hasn’t proven to be a waste of money for the Yankees.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - May 21, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        Trying to prove arguments by predicting the future is weak.

  4. jbriggs81 - May 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    If you ever listen to Girardi talk, he always qualifies statements he makes about players health with something to the effect that there is always a possibility the player doesnt come back. Its really nothing new with him. However, I don’t know if he is making the statement based upon actual knowledge or simply the metaphysical possibility that a player may not return

    • dan1111 - May 21, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      I don’t know about the original context of Girardi’s words, but the article you have linked to is only talking about Sabathia not making it back for the season–not his career being over.

      • dan1111 - May 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Oops–by “you” I meant Aaron. Forgot I was in a reply.

      • genericcommenter - May 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

        I definitely thought the quote was in reference to the season, but that it was presented in such a way to provoke readers to see it as a career-ending reference.

  5. braddavery - May 21, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    ‘I think there’s always that possibility a player may get hit by a bus. But I feel pretty good about he’s had done so far and the steps that were taken, and you just kind of keep your fingers crossed that he won’t be hit by a bus.’

  6. chiadam - May 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    I’ve been trying to put together a list of mammoth, long-term contracts that have ever worked out for anyone other than the player. Derek Jeter’s $189 million dollar contract and the $160 million that Boston paid Manny are all I can come up with.

    • brandotho - May 21, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      A-Rod’s first contract, albeit Texas had to trade him and he opted out with three years left. .304/.400/.591/.991, 154 OPS+, averaged 47 HR, 130 RBI, 8.0 bWAR and won 3 MVPs.

      • stex52 - May 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Is that all? What a slacker.

      • chiadam - May 21, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        Someone OTHER than the player. What did Texas get out of it, other than the ability to get out from under his horrid contract?

      • Kevin S. - May 22, 2014 at 1:40 AM

        You’re blaming A-Rod because Texas completely squandered everything they spent around him? The Rangers got three years of the best player in the American League, even if it took MVP voters a while to realize it. They unloaded him because they had to cut payroll and everybody else was untradeable.

    • clydeserra - May 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Alex Rodriguez’s first one was good. (the TX $250M), I don’t know if you think that is long term or not.

      Alex Rios? he was bad in toronto, but has done OK by the contract in Chicago and TX.

    • 18thstreet - May 21, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Good question. The deal that Mussina got with the Yankees worked out well.

      And Cot’s contracts has a couple good deals I forgot about:
      – Albert Pujols, $100,000,000 (2004-10) — not free agency
      – Chipper Jones, $90,000,000 (2001-06) — not free agency, right?
      – Barry Bonds, $90,000,000 (2002-06) — asterisks all around

      It’s a short, short list. And it makes me think that the Red Sox fans who are hoping the team resigns Lester might want to reconsider. It’s not that Lester hasn’t been great. It’s that, essentially, no one ages well enough to justify these giant contacts.

    • mazblast - May 21, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Vernon Wells’ $100-million-plus deal with Toronto didn’t quite work out as planned, then they found a greater fool (Anaheim) who would take the remaining part of it.

    • mazblast - May 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Another one–Mark Teixeira with the sainted, never-wrong Yankees. They got a little value early, but never what they thought they were buying.

      And how about Barry Zito’s deal with the Giants? Woof.

      • chiadam - May 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Exactly. And I don’t mean highlighting the first three years in a deal that lasts for ten. I mean the entire contract.

  7. zdravit - May 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    He’s right. If he gains any more blubber while he’s out, he could die and stuff.

  8. genericcommenter - May 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    He’s been very impressive this year in strikeout rates and K/BB ratio. One of the best in baseball.

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