CC Sabathia would be open to pitching in a six-man rotation if the Yankees brought him back for 2018.
“At this point, with my age, yeah, I don’t care,” Sabathia, 37, said Tuesday at a Bright Smiles, Bright Futures event on Manhattan’s West Side. “That is what it is. The more rest for me, the better.”
Sabathia, now a free agent, didn’t think his agent had spoken with Brian Cashman about a potential return as of yet.
“Not that I know of. At some point I’m sure hopefully it happens,” Sabathia said. “They got a lot on their plate right now. We don’t have a manager or anything like that, so it’s a lot to kind of get done for them. It is what it is. I’m waiting enjoying the offseason with my family and kind of see what happens.”
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The Bombers are also taking a run at Shoehi Otani, and are considered a favorite to land the 23-year-old two-way star from Japan.
While he never hit regularly, Sabathia has had plenty of success at the plate during his 17-year career.
“I think it’s tough (to play two ways), but I guess he can do it. That’s what the reports are saying,” Sabathia said of Otani. “Everybody keeps saying baseball isn’t ready for it, but we don’t know if we are or not. He may be a guy that can do it and change the game, so I’m excited to see what happens.”
A six-man rotation that could include Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, Otani and Sabathia (or Alex Cobb) would conceivably allow the group to stay fresher during the regular season. It would also protect the Yankees should injury occur.
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Sabathia had a scare with his oft-injured knee during an August start in Toronto, which caused him to contemplate retirement. But Sabathia says he ended the year healthy, and did not expect to require any types of surgical procedures on it. “So hopefully I’ll just carry that into next year,” Sabathia said.
The Bombers love Sabathia’s leadership ability, but it is thought to be unlikely they’d be willing to offer him a multi-year deal at this juncture, given his age and injury history.
“I want to be a part of something that I started,” Sabathia said. “I was here with I guess the old guard and kind of here with the new guard so I would to kind of see it through and win a championship with these young guys.”
Either way, Sabathia, who is already working out in preparation for 2018, is at peace with whatever happens.
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“It’s not tough for me,” Sabathia said. “I’ve been playing for 17 years. Like I always say, this is always icing on the top for me. This is all extra. So whatever happens, happens. If I’m pitching here or I’m pitching wherever, I’m going to have fun and enjoy it. It’s all fun for me now.”
Brian Cashman was named Baseball America’s Executive of the Year. The GM, who is currently searching for Joe Girardi’s managerial replacement, turned the Bombers around quickly the past two trade deadlines. He also strengthened the farm system while building a young, homegrown core.
The Yankees, who were supposed to be in rebuilding mode, advanced to within a win of the World Series. While Cashman’s new contract has yet to be finalized, Hal Steinbrenner made it known at the Owner’s Meetings that there is a mutual agreement in place between the two parties, meaning Cashman will be around for years to come.
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