At midnight tonight teams from around the league will be able to start talking to free agents and offering them contract offers. As you're well aware, one of the most prized free agents on the market this winter is CC Sabathia, and I wouldn't be surprised if his phone rings 15 times before 12:02 AM.
While Sabathia hasn't come out and said he wants to play anywhere specific, it is known that he'd prefer being on the west coast and on a National League team if possible so he can hit. Well, one of the teams that wants CC is the Yankees, and they're neither of those things. So they know that if they want to convince him to come to the Bronx next spring they're going to have to make him an offer he can't refuse, and word is they're going to do just that.
One Yankee executive said, "we have to separate ourselves." Translation: They must divest Sabathia of his dreams of the Pacific and the batter's box by going to a financial region relatively quickly that no other franchise would even consider, especially in this plummeting economy.
That means a bid north of the six years at $137.5 million the Mets New York Mets bestowed last year on Johan Santana . My gut says six years at $150 million sounds about right to force league-wide surrender before the bidding really even gets started.
If the Yankees do offer Sabathia six years at $25 million per, he'd have to be pretty stupid to turn it down. Of all the west coast teams he'd like to play for, I don't think any of them are going to come close to that kind of money, and that's the Yankees plan. Blow him away before anybody else even has a chance of talking to him.
On a side note, I'd like to let the Yankees know I'd be willing to pitch for them for a fraction of that price. Call me!