C.C. Sabathia Should…

C.C. Sabathia loves to hit.  He probably would rather hit a walk-off homer than throw a no-hitter, which I think is the reason why he said on the Dan Patrick show that he would rather hit a walk-off homer than throw a no-hitter.  It's strong evidence to help any NL team think, "Hey, we could throw a really large pile of money within a few million of the Yankees' recent 140M offer and have a decent chance at signing this guy; all we have to do is be prepared to let him hit in the bottom of the ninth with the game on the line."

Aside that chancy proposition, Dan Nied thinks there are better reasons for C.C. to sign with anyone but the Yankees.

 …Major League Baseball's top free agent has to make the biggest decision of his life…

The easy call is for CC to go with the Yankees and ply his wares with baseball's most storied franchise. That means oodles of media attention and the chance to become the most famous pitcher in the game, a more likable, steroid-free version of Roger Clemens.
 
But CC seems the Yankees 6-year, $140 million offer, which illustrates why he isn't just the stereotypical money-grubbing free agent.

It's an easy not-easy call.  Guessing at what was meant in the context of the omission in the second line: "CC seems wary of", "CC seems patient to wait on", "CC seems to have missed the zero after the 14 on".   By "seeming", he's now known to not be the stereotype of those money-grubber free-agents.  Any athlete who takes the biggest contract is a stereotypical money-grubber.  Shave a bit and you are no longer a grubber.  And let's punch Roger Clemens in the nose for no particular reason.

Sure, he could be holding out for the biggest offer

Yes, he most certainly could and should wait for as many offers as he wants and then decide.

But somehow it's hard to believe that's the case. CC has carved out a reputation as a man who truly enjoys playing the game of baseball, and the guess here is that he values comfort over cash.

Why is that hard to believe?  Because by not taking the Yankees offer immediately, his "principles" are elevated and that "reputation" assigned by the writer is now buttressed?

That's why he hasn't rebuffed a small-market Brewers team that – unlike the Yankees – made the playoffs in 2008. Of course, that was almost solely because of a midseason trade for the towering Vallejo native.

Now it's a certainty instead of a guess.  He hasn't rebuffed – whatever that means – anyone, yet.  There's no doubting the addition of stud starter C.C. had a positive impact on the Brewers.  Yes, they "almost solely" made the playoffs because of that mid-season trade.  As long as you ignore that the team was 4 games out on the day that C.C. joined the BrewCrew yet finished 7.5 out.  And ignore the collapse of the Mets.  And ignore that the NL West's division leader won only 84 games.  And ignore that 90 games in the beast ain't nearly enough.  Maybe it was Ned Yost's fault they didn't win every game out after he joined.  Good thing he got fired.

If happiness is the way he wants to go, CC should steer clear of New York, which has become something of a baseball purgatory in recent years. There, his best likely won't be good enough, unless he single-handedly wills his team to a string of World Series titles. And that hasn't been done in nearly a decade.

I'm not sure what happiness means.  I think being a highly-coveted baseball player might make me happy.  I'm not sure what purgatory means.  I think it has to do something with being a sinner but not bad enough to get sent to Seattle.  And let's punch Seattle in the nose for no particular reason.

If CC truly wants to establish his legacy, he should spurn the Yankees and sign with the Brewers, or another small-market club

His pitching will establish his legacy regardless of the franchise.  Paraphrasing: "Anyone except the Yankees."  If he pitches well, pitching in the Bronx will do more for his legacy than pitching in a "small-market", but if an offer from a "small-market" team musters, sure.  Take it.

The Brewers have offered CC a reported 5-year, $100 million contract that stretches the conventional wisdom of small-market baseball.

As long as conventional wisdom is stretched, might as well stretch it as far as possible: just far enough to not lose that "small-market" moniker, I suppose.

Choosing the Brewers over the Yankees would send two messages: 1. CC isn't your average money-first superstar. 2. The little guy really can compete in the tilted, non-salary capped world of MLB.

So this is about the "little guy" club of millionaires, and how C.C. can carry that club out of the ominous shadow of the Yankees who pay bigger money and haven't won lately anyway, while making almost as much money as he would for the <insert big market club here>.

He would become an iconoclast who shuns the establishment in favor of the underdog. Enough money will be there regardless, but there is no rule that says a player must take the largest amount offered.

"I'm an iconoclast.  I only make 20 million a season instead of 23."  That's a rallying cry.

CC might get squeezed by the players union to take the highest offer. But CC could stand up for himself there, too. Though the union's job is to ensure its members' services are given fair market value, it is also to ensure that its members are happy. And it just seems that CC would be happier in Milwaukee.

Because he loves to hit.

Things change, however, if the Angels get serious in their pursuit. Or if, say, a certain National League team residing in the Bay Area wants to bring in the hometown hero to make amends for signing Barry Zito.

And let's punch Barry Zito in the nose for no particular reason.

If the chance arises to play in California, then no one could blame CC for coming home.

Nope, can't blame him, as long as he does not buy a home in New York.

But those scenarios haven't happened, not yet anyway. As it stands today CC's legacy hangs in the balance between the perceived superpower Yankees or the up-and-coming Brewers. Perhaps the irony here is that the Brewers currently give CC the best shot at a World Series title.

It's only irony if C.C. signs with the Yankees and the Brewers then win the series.  And his legacy won't be decided by one season.  Noodling.

Ultimately, the decision for CC is what he wants his career to represent. Sign with the Yankees and follow in line with all the other superstars who took the quickest road to fame and fortune. Sign with the Brewers and prove that he stands for something more than money.

"Ultimately, the decision is for CC."  There, fixed that for you.

10 comments… add one

  • Thank you for doing this ag. This is so typical of the lazy articles that have been written concerning CC and the Yankees. With Teix holding on, not accepting whatever his first offer was and waiting for top offers, its a sign of Boras and his savvy. Yet with CC since he didnt immediately make what could be the most important decision of his life, he is shunning the yankees, etc. In the end, he may do this and take less money to play out of NYC but until he does this, passing judgement on his desire (or lack thereof) to be in pinstripes is premature. As much as other fans and writers would like to see the yankees brand and attraction be diminished this is not the case. Their gobs of money and commitment to fielding a competitive team will continue to net them top stars via free agency.

    Sam-YF November 29, 2008, 7:00 pm
  • fielding an expensive ” top star” team is entirely different than fielding a competititve one. New York has become a place to make lots of money, not win lots of championships.
    But, both Boston and New York have been shown that lesson as of late: It takes more than a GM with deep pockets, snatching up all the expensive free agents with the hopes that it all gels together by July. Granted, that works sometimes, but normally, it’s the TEAM that wins, not the group of “top stars”.
    I’ll believe CC takes the money when I see it, but unlike the author of this piece, I think it has much less to do with the money, and much more to do with the idea that NY isn’t a winning team anymore. Only NYY fans still believe that NY is the place to come to win.

    Brad November 29, 2008, 8:35 pm
  • “NY isn’t a winning team anymore.”
    Only an over-confident Red Sox fan would say this.
    Kind of hard to say New York isnt a winning team any more when they have made the playoffs all but 1 injury-filled year in this decade. As we all know, making the post-season is the most important thing. Brad, you are deluding yourself if you still dont think that NY is a place to come to win. Its not the ONLY place to do so, but being on the yankees certainly does provide you a chance to win it all.

    Sam-YF November 29, 2008, 9:12 pm
  • FJM Lives?

    KingOfTheBritons November 29, 2008, 9:55 pm
  • Sam, you’re misunderstanding. I’m well aware that NY is a winning team, I’m just trying to prove the point that the pack has caught up, and taken a slight edge in competitiveness levels, man. CC stands just as good a shot of winning a WS in any number of places as he does in NY.
    I’m not discounting the “decade long playoff appearances at all”, but more so saying that in the last several, other teams have shown them the door. Those teams, like LAA, Boston, Cleveland, and others offer just as a good a shot as NY does, or will.
    Again, I’m not discounting NY from the race, I’m just saying that they’re not in first. In fact, I think LAA offers him a much better chance to win than does NY or anywhere else for that matter.
    He’s not playing for what a team has done in the past decade, he’s playing for what they look like they’ll do in the next.

    Brad November 29, 2008, 10:03 pm
  • That’s the reason I don’t believe he’s coming to NY, which is why Tex hasn’t said Boo. He knows what he stands to gain from CC signing elsewhere.
    I believe that if CC signs elsewhere, Tex is going to get a very A-Rodian contract offer from NY, and Boras knows it.

    Brad November 29, 2008, 10:14 pm
  • > FJM Lives?
    I wish.

    attackgerbil November 29, 2008, 10:50 pm
  • “fielding an expensive ” top star” team is entirely different than fielding a competititve one.”
    Actually, the Yankees have shown exactly the opposite. Those things are very much the same.

    AndrewYF November 29, 2008, 11:49 pm
  • Yes, Andrew, it is the same to some extent. The Red Sox proved that picking up a few key free agents can change the entire landscape of a team. But, the purchasing of huge free agent contracts is not the sure-fire answer to anything.
    Again, I’m not saying anything negative towards NY, but rather, CC’s choices aren’t as cut and dry as Yankee fans would like to think. As far as “winning” goes, his options are just nice elsewhere in this league.

    Brad November 30, 2008, 12:18 am
  • Gerb taking up the mantle of Ken Tremendous. We dig!

    SF November 30, 2008, 9:59 am

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