Back up the Brink's truck, boys, the Yankees are prepared to make C.C. Sabathia the highest paid pitcher in baseball history.
Reports are the offer exceeds the $137.5 million the Mets gave to Johan Santana last year. Hey, when it comes to throwing around large sums of cash, the Yankees wrote the damn book.
Sabathia, by all accounts, would perfer to pitch on the West Coast, and in the NL where he could display his hitting prowess. However, as it often does, cash will likely win out, and we can expect to see him with a cap and jersey at the inevitable press conference in a few weeks.
Here's the thing - Sabathia is, not to be too delicate, large. He's an innings eater, no question, but try to name a large pitcher who succeeded in pitching effectively into his thirties. Scouts already reported arm fatigue down the stretch last year, which could have resulted from the Brewers pitching him every three days in the heat of the playoff race, but could also be indicative of residual effects of tossing nearly 500 innings over the last two seasons.
The feeling here is that C.C. is a batch of DL stints waiting to happen. A guy his size will inevitably develop leg problems from supporting the weight, and the guy has been so durable that the sheer number of innings has to catch up with him. We understand why the Yankees feel the need to make a big splash and nab the biggest fish in the pond - a new stadium, a TV netowk, and a return to the playoffs, and this signing should provide a much needed short term boost. We'd just be really surprised if that by the time the contract is up that Sabathia isn't being compared to Carl Pavano.