CC Sabathia is still hoping for a reunion with the Yankees in 2018, but as of Sunday night, the veteran lefty said there has still been no communication between Sabathia’s agent, Roc Nation, and Bombers general manager Brian Cashman.
“We ain’t talked yet. It is what it is. It’s early. Offseason just started, so I’m just enjoying my family, hanging out right now,” Sabathia said Sunday at the Hunt and Fish Club near Times Square, where Sabathia’s former Yankee teammate Jorge Posada and his wife Laura were hosting a fundraiser to benefit hurricane relief efforts to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
“I hope so,” Sabathia, 37, added, referring to a Bronx return. “That’s the goal. But I’m not dumb either. I know what this game is about, and how things work. If I’m back, I’m back. If not, I’ll play somewhere else.”
To that end, Sabathia said he hopes to pitch even beyond 2018, but that a big part of his playing future will depend upon his troublesome right knee – the leg he plants in his follow-through – and whether he can stay healthy. Sabathia went on the disabled list this past season, and even said around that time that he contemplated retirement due to the knee pain he experienced. But Sabathia said he would not need any procedures or scopes done on his knee this offseason.
“No we’re good,” Sabathia said of his knee. “(Pitching beyond 2018) really depends on my knee. Right now it’s just start to start. I want to pitch as long as possible.”
The lefty, who went 14-5 this past season, said that when he does make a decision on his future, it will come down to where he can have the best chance to win, and not the amount of years on a contract or comfort level with a team.
“I want to have the opportunity to win. Obviously getting as far as we did this year, getting so close, I want to get that feeling again. For me, it’s gonna be spots that I can try to win,” said Sabathia.
After the Yankees were booted from the ALCS by Houston, an emotional Sabathia called New York “home” and stated his desire to continue to play in pinstripes. But Sabathia said Sunday that he hasn’t thought about playing for another team besides the Bombers since it’s still early in the free agent process. He did say that he trusts “those guys if they’re hiring somebody that we can play for,” when asked about Cashman interviewing candidates to replace Joe Girardi as Yankee manager.
“I have to talk to my agent and see how it shakes out. Just have to play the game and wait and see how it goes. I’m not stressed about it. I’m just gonna play the offseason and let’s see how it plays out,” said Sabathia.
Newly crowned World Series champion Carlos Beltran, meanwhile, said he has not made a decision yet on whether to keep playing in 2018 or hang up the spikes for good.
“I don’t know yet. It’s a decision, I’m gonna make it with my family,” Beltran said Sunday, where he was also on hand at the Hunt and Fish Club. “After playing this year, and winning everything, that was a great experience. Something I’ve been pursuing since I got to the big leagues. Thank God for that opportunity. My decision won’t be difficult. It will be playing one more year or staying home.
“As a player, this is my 20th year, but it’s not like I hate going to the ballpark. I love going to the ballpark. I love spending time with the guys, getting ready and being able to compete. That’s the fun part of baseball,” Beltran, 40, added. “At the end of the day, you got to make a decision because you cannot play this game forever. That decision we’ll be making as a family.”
Beltran did say that managing is something he would like to pursue in the future, after his playing days are over. Told the Yankees have a vacancy, Beltran said he first has to make a decision on whether to play in 2018.
“I love the game of baseball. I’m passionate about it. I love to study the game. If one day I get the opportunity and be considered to be (a managerial candidate), that would be great,” said Beltran, a former Met and Yankee. “I told my wife that would be something I wanted to do. Right now, I don’t know what decision I’m gonna make – if I’m gonna play or not. If I decide to retire, yes, that would be something I want to accomplish. There’s a lot of candidates (for the Yankees managerial opening). If I made a decision to stay home, then we can talk about it. But right now, I haven’t made a decision yet.”
NOTE: Cashman told reporters in Orlando – where the GM Meetings are being held this week – that no candidates for the Yankee manager opening will be interviewed until Thursday. Already Yankee bench coach Rob Thomson and veteran manager Eric Wedge have been interviewed, and 2003 ALCS hero Aaron Boone is reportedly a candidate to be interviewed. Sabathia said Sunday that he “didn’t have a problem” playing for Wedge in Cleveland when Wedge was the Indians’ skipper.
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