Bloomberg News

CC Sabathia to Stay With Yankees; Rays Keep Shields, Farnsworth

November 01, 2011

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- CC Sabathia said he’s aiming to finish his career with the New York Yankees after agreeing to an extension that may keep the All-Star pitcher with the team through the 2017 season.

Sabathia, 31, could have opted out of the final four years and $92 million of his contract yesterday and tested the free agent market, where he’d have been the top pitcher available this offseason. Instead, Sabathia had at least one more year, and potentially two, added to his deal.

“My goal the whole time was to be able to finish my career as a Yankee,” Sabathia said in a video message posted on his personal website last night. “Hopefully I can do that. We seem like we got that accomplished.”

Sabathia had been under contract with the Yankees through the 2015 Major League Baseball season, making $23 million a year. The extension includes the 2016 season and a vesting club option for 2017, the Yankees said in a press release, without disclosing financial terms.

Sabathia will get $25 million in 2016, the Associated Press said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the contract. The final year would include a $25 million salary, with a $5 million buyout, AP said. That 2017 option would become guaranteed if the left-hander avoids a season-ending injury to his pitching shoulder in 2016 and doesn’t spent more than 45 days on the disabled list, AP said.

Sabathia has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 earned run average for the Yankees over the past three seasons and led the American League in wins in 2009 and 2010.

Yankees’ Ace

“CC is the ace of our pitching staff, a leader in our clubhouse,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. “He is exactly the type player and person that Yankees fans and this organization can be proud of.”

Sabathia had signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees before the 2009 season and helped the club win its 27th World Series title during his first year in New York. The 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner has a career record of 176-96 with a 3.51 ERA over 11 major league seasons.

Sabathia is 7-4 with a 4.81 ERA in 16 career postseason games, including 15 starts. He failed to record a win in his two postseason starts this year, when the Yankees lost their American League Division Series to the Detroit Tigers.

Rays’ Moves

The Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees’ AL East Division rivals, picked up 2012 contract options on starting pitcher James Shields and reliever Kyle Farnsworth.

Shields, who went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA and made his first All-Star team in 2011, will make $7 million next year, MLB.com said. Farnsworth, who logged 25 saves after taking over as the Rays’ closer, will get $3.3 million, MLB.com reported.

The Cleveland Indians acquired 38-year-old starting pitcher Derek Lowe yesterday in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. The Indians sent a Class-A minor league pitcher to the Braves for Lowe, who has made at least 32 starts each of the past 10 years.

After going 31-22 over his first two seasons with the Braves in 2009-10, Lowe went 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA this year. Although Lowe led the National League in losses, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti said the right-hander adds an experienced arm to a rotation that includes Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Fausto Carmona, who are all 27 or younger.

“We were able to add a quality, durable major league starter to our rotation, a guy who’s pitched 180 or more innings every year since 2002,” Antonetti said during a conference call. “He’s demonstrated durability. He’s pitched on some very good teams and we feel he has a leadership ability that could rub off on some of our starters.”

--Editors: Dex McLuskey, Dan Baynes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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