Anthony McCarron posed the question in today’s Daily News: Now that John Lackey is lost for the season, could the Red Sox try to make a rotation splash by scooping up CC Sabathia?
Adding Sabathia to Boston’s already strong top of the rotation would be a significant blow to all of the American League, not just the Yankees, and whether it’s feasible or not — do the Red Sox really have the financial flexibility to make such a signing? — the very idea is why the Yankees want to get his Sabathia situation resolved sooner rather than later.
The free agent market offers no reliable ace, and the ball is in the Yankees court with Sabathia.* Why take the risk of letting him hit the open market?
George King suggested this morning “a five- or six-year deal for an obvious raise over his current $23 million a year.” The Yankees could raise Sabathia’s salary $4 million per year and not think twice about it. We’ll call that The Igawa Factor.
Obviously there are concerns with Sabathia’s size, and long-term deals are always risky with pitchers, but given some of the alternatives — Sabathia pitching for anyone else in the American League, Ivan Nova starting on Opening Day — coming to an agreement with Sabathia is an obvious priority.
* I guess technically the ball is in Sabathia’s court because he doesn’t have to opt out, but everyone in baseball believes he will and the Yankees recognize that. It’s easy to predict Sabathia’s next move, so the Yankees can preemptively make a move of their own.
Associated Press photo