CC Sabathia showed up to spring training 25 pounds lighter, shedding the title of baseball's heaviest player. Now, everyone is talking about his future and whether or not he will opt out of his contract for a bigger paycheck at the end of this season with the Yankees.
According the Star Ledger, the opt-out clause was all people could talk about during the Yankees' first day of spring training. Sabathia, one of basball's highest-paid pitchers, was careful with his statement but seemed to be hinting at possibly opting out of his contract.
"I have no idea," Sabathia said of his plans after this season. "Anything's possible."
If Sabathia decided to opt out, he will be leaving behind a deal that pays $23 million per year until 2015 — $92 million in total. The Yankees' rotation could not afford the loss of another ace pitcher after losing Andy Pettitte to retirement just a few weeks ago.
Then again, Sabathia will be a 30 years old by the time this season comes to a close, so who knows what the Yankees' response will be regarding their rotation's workhorse. Whatever he decides to do, Sabathia says he wants to play for many years to come, particularly with his new weight-loss regime in place.
"I want to try to pitch as long as I can, hopefully another 8-10 years," Sabathia said. "This is just the first step in trying to do that."
General manager Brian Cashman has not completely ruled out negotiating an extension with Sabathia during the season, which techinally goes against the organization's policy.
Hank Steinbrenner, Yankees' co-chairman and son of the late George Steinbrenner, doesn't imagine it will go that far with Sabathia.
"I don't think so," Steinbrenner said when asked if he thought Sabathia would opt out.
"He's happy there," Steinbrenner added. "He's been very happy there. Now he really knows what it's like to be a Yankee. He had another excellent year last year. I think he's here to stay."