Jim Baumbach with the money quote:
CC Sabathia says he won’t opt out after next season regardless of how much money Cliff Lee gets. “It’s got nothing to do with that.”
Additionally, CC spoke to Jill Martin at halftime of a Knicks game the other night, and RAB transcribed his response to a question about the opt-out:
“I signed up for seven years, and it’s a good organization. We have a chance to win a championship every year. I think that was an easy decision.”
I would love to take CC at his word and celebrate his decision, but he may come to realize that he would be leaving a ton of money on the table and change his mind before the opt-out deadline. Let’s assume that Cliff Lee gets a 7 year deal with a similar AAV to CC’s. Lee is a year older than CC will be next offseason, so if CC has another strong year he can expect a similar deal on next year’s market. That means that remaining in his current contract assumes that when his deal expires at age 34, he will be able to get more than a 3 year deal at 23 million dollars per year. That is a very risky assumption that I think most agents would counsel against.
There are obviously concerns other than money at issue here, but let’s not make it like CC has this deep attachment to New York. He is a West Coast boy who likely would happily move to L.A. if the Angels offered him a huge deal next offseason. New York is not the only place that he can be happy, win, and get paid, and I think there is at least a decent chance that he realizes that and becomes a free agent in the 2011 offseason. It will be very interesting to see how the Yankees approach him if he does choose to opt-out.