NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
When the New York Yankees signed CC Sabathia to a seven-year contract in December 2008, they included an opt-out clause following the 2011 season. Nobody paid it much attention until this past year, when Sabathia continued to pitch like an ace. More and more, people figured that Sabathia would opt out in order to re-negotiate a longer deal, and facing a Monday night deadline, the assumption over the weekend was that Sabathia opting out was all but guaranteed.
So it's safe to say this is a (mild) shock:
CC Sabathia has decided against opting out of his current contract with the Yankees, a decision that comes as a surprise to many in the industry. However, CC has recently and often expressed his love for New York and the Yankees organization. Sabathia thanked the Steinbrenner family and said, "my goal the whole time was to be able to finish my career as a Yankee…I look forward to seeing everybody out at the ballpark next year."
It was always figured that Sabathia would likely stay with the Yankees. What most people thought, though, was that Sabathia would opt out, and then the Yankees would re-sign him to a five- or six-year contract off the free agent market. As is, Sabathia didn't bother testing the waters before signing his name on the line.
It's a surprising move, because there was really no downside to Sabathia exercising the clause. But this way everything is that much easier, and it's become evident just how much Sabathia loves pitching where he pitches.