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http://www.nypost.com/seven/12102008/sports/yankees/yanks_close_in_on_sabathia_deal_143481.htm

CC SABATHIA PICKS YANKEES

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By JOEL SHERMAN

BIG MONEY: CC Sabathia, with a $140 million offer on the table, was expected to meet with Yankee GM Brian Cashman yesterday for the third straight day, raising hopes he'll be pitching in The Bronx next spring.

Last updated: 4:24 am

December 10, 2008

Posted: 2:05 am

December 10, 2008

LAS VEGAS – CC Sabathia is not going to play on the West Coast. He is not going to play in the National League. CC Sabathia is going to be a Yankee, The Post has learned exclusively.

After three straight days of face-to-face meetings between GM Brian Cashman and Sabathia, the big lefty decided he wants to spend the next six years of his career as a Yankee. The decision came late last night after Cashman flew to see Sabathia at his home in San Francisco. By the time the meeting was concluded, Sabathia had informed the Yankees that he had made his decision to call New York his baseball home, the Post has learned.

There are still minor hurdles to finalize, notably that Sabathia must pass a physical. But after so much belief that Sabathia was stalling because he wanted to avoid New York, he agreed to the largest pitching contract in major league history, at least $140 million.

It means that the Yankees have lassoed the player they were building their offseason around: An ace in his prime. Sabathia is just 28, and last year between the Indians and Brewers he went 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA. The previous season he won the AL Cy Young. Now he is the first major new piece to be put into the new Yankee Stadium.

Cashman had met with Sabathia on both Sunday and Monday in Vegas. He then slipped out of the Winter Meetings yesterday to fly to San Francisco to meet again with Sabathia and also this time Sabathia's wife, Amber. It was in this meeting that Sabathia fully expressed that he wanted to come East and play in the AL, that he wanted the responsibility that comes with being the big man for the biggest team.

The Yankees had extended a six-year, $140 million bid to Sabathia nearly a month ago. As the weeks passed and Sabathia did not accept the deal, a feeling began to pervade that he was trying hard to avoid the Bronx. Instead, this might simply have been a patient game of poker, Sabathia simply taking his time to make sure no desirable West Coast team with significant money would emerge. That never happened.

So now Sabathia will front a rotation that also will include Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. But Cashman does not want to stop there. The Yankee priority this winter has been pitching, pitching and pitching. And they are going for more.

Cashman had met Monday night with A.J. Burnett's agent Darek Braunacker and expressed a willingness to exceed the four-year, $60 million bid by the Braves and that they would seriously consider going to a fifth year.

"We never doubted their sincere efforts," Braunacker said. "I have maintained that if A.J. wants five years he will get five years."

Cashman also met with Scott Boras and the Yanks appeared willing to go to the four-year, $60 million plus range for Derek Lowe. In addition, the Yanks have talked with agents for several other starters, including Andy Pettitte, Randy Wolf, Oliver Perez and Ben Sheets. The Yankees received medical records on the oft-injured Sheets and were studying them. One person in the loop described Cashman as really pushing in a much more forceful way to begin closing deals, with or without Sabathia.

The Yanks knew the worse scenario would be to be completely shut out on the top-tier pitching buffet. That would be humiliating. That would be the entire sport essentially saying the Yankees have the money, but no one wants to take it as a first option any longer. However, Sabathia showed that the lure of the Yankees and their money is still powerful.

Barring the unforeseen, Sabathia is going to be a Yankee. The Yanks scored the big prize for which they were hunting.

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Well, if this is true, I guess I can't really bedgrudge the guy for taking the largest contract ever offered a pitcher in history. It's just that I get excited when guys seem to be spurning the Yanks for a different locale, as it looked as though CC might be doing.

The article says that the Yanks will also be going hard after another top pitcher and that AJ is among the ones they are going after.

If this does put the Yanks out of the Tex sweepstakes then this is obviously good for us. Sure the Red Sox could go harder after Tex now, but they have to sift through Oritz, Youlk, and Lowell. I'm sure the Angels want to have Tex back, but perhaps we can go toe to toe with them? who knows.

Hey CC wasn't having that great of a 2008 until he went to the Brewers and the NL, right? :(

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Not that we were ever interested or in on CC, or that ANYONE ELSE was either... after the Skanks full-court-press, *sigh* the rich get richer. Vini Vidi Vici.

*spit*

Yes, I do to a degree. Like you said, we were never in on CC so it's not so much that, but CC coupled with them likely throwing huge amounts at two more out of Lowe, Sheets and AJ, gets to me a bit more.

I was really kind've hoping that CC would go to the Giants or Dodgers, Burnett to us and if not us the Braves or Phills, Tex to us or if not us back to the Angels, thus keeping the Yanks shut out from those guys.

Oh, and Manny also somewhere other than the Brox. But it was all just wishful thinking, obviously.

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Yes, I do to a degree. Like you said, we were never in on CC so it's not so much that, but CC couple with them likely throwing huge amounts and two more out of Lowe, Sheets and AJ, gets to me a bit more.

I was really kind've hoping that CC would go to the Giants or Dodgers, Burnett to us and if not us the Braves or Phills, Tex to us or if not us back to the Angels, thus keeping the Yanks shut out from those guys.

Oh, and Manny also somewhere other than the Brox. But it was all just wishful thinking, obviously.

Yeah really, first it's just plain green jealousy, but then it's downright hatred of a system that lets one or three teams just utterly dominate the sport. It's just not right. I say this because CC will not be the last nor the biggest news the Skanks make...

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Yankee$ dollars talk to the free-agents of the world...

(paraphrasing Joe Strummer, yet again...)

See, when you can have a $300MM payroll, you can do stuff like this, without even having to think about it that much.

They're going to spend more on pitching this year than most teams will invest in their entire payrolls.

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Well, according to this it is 7/161, but he can opt out after 3 to make it 3/69. Seems the Yanks were seriously bidding against themselves to get CC to consider them.

Can't blame a guy for taking that much money, and the flexibility to leave if he hates NY...

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Well, according to this it is 7/161, but he can opt out after 3 to make it 3/69. Seems the Yanks were seriously bidding against themselves to get CC to consider them.

Can't blame a guy for taking that much money, and the flexibility to leave if he hates NY...

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Yea he really did protect himself with that opt out. Great deal for Charles

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