“I was confident that we would get to an agreement,” he said during tonight’s conference call. “I wanted to stay here. I want to be here. I love it here. I love pitching here. I love being a part of the Yankees organization, and I’m just so happy to be able to come to an agreement.”
Here are a few highlights from tonight’s call.
What was the most important factor in the contract talks?
“My family. My family being good. Everything going from there. I made the decision to come to New York on my family. I have four kids, so making sure everything was comfortable with them. My kids, my son loves it here. All my kids love it here, my wife loves it here – and I do, too. I love pitching for the Yankees fans. It was an easy choice… It was just more time. That’s all it was. It was never a question about money or anything like that; it was just being more time. I want to end my career here, make sure I end my career as a Yankee. Hopefully I’ve done that.”
How badly did Sabathia want to avoid the drama of free agency?
“It was a big motivation. I didn’t want to be a part of being a free agent and doing everything, opting out and doing all that stuff. It was clear to everybody that I wanted to be a Yankee, wanted to end my career as a Yankee, and hopefully I can do that.”
When did Sabathia know he was comfortable in New York?
“I think the whole time. I always felt comfortable here. I always felt like I wanted to be a part of this organization, community, and I feel good being a part of it going forward… I felt good the way I was (from the beginning), the way I felt in the clubhouse, the way I felt with the organization. It was up to me to go out and perform.”
Was controlling weight discussed in the contract talks?
“It’s something I’ll do regardless for me and be proactive. It is what it is for me. I just need to go out and be healthy, try to do what I can to be out there for every start. To be there for the team. For me, that means losing weight. So that’s what I’ll do… I felt great going into the season last year. I got a little lax during the season, but I feel great. My arm feels great, my shoulder, my knee, whatever. I feel good.”
Did the six-man rotation impact Sabathia’s second half?
“I’m not going to say that. I’m not going to sit here and say that the change in my routine had anything to do with the last month. It is what it is. When it was my time to go and they give me the ball, I go out there and pitch. It is what it is.”
Does Sabathia think this helps his chances of reaching 300 wins?
“You kill me with that. You always know I don’t care about that. Who cares about that? I care about ending my career healthy. You know me.”
Associated Press photo