Sabathia could be in pinstripes in '09

Yesterday at Legends Field, the Yankees and Indians faced off. The starting pitchers were Chien-Ming Wang against C.C. Sabathia respectively, a rematch of Game 1 of last year's Divison Series. Just another Spring Training game to most but to the Yankees and their front office, it was an up close look at a potential ace that could be in pinstripes in 2009 .

sabathia.JPGIt's a subject thats sure to be brought up multiple times over the course of the season. That's because Sabathia is a free agent at year's end and will not have any discussions over a new contract during the season. He has already turned down a four-year $68 million dollar contract extentsion from Cleveland. Sabathia for the time being has his sights set on the upcoming season.
"I'm just thinking about this season right now," Sabathia said after allowing three runs over four innings against the Yankees. "I think we've got a good chance with the team we're bringing back and that's all I'm really focusing on. At the end of the year when everything unfolds, I'll cross that road when I cross it."

At season's end, the Yankees will have around $80 million off their payroll due to expiring contracts (Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Kyle Farnsworth, and Carl Pavano to name a few.) Also, Mussina and Pettitte could call it quits leaving the Yanks with some major shoes to fill in the rotation. Sabathia seems like a good fit. He could be the new ace of a staff that heads into a new era as the Yankees move into the new Yankee Stadium in 2009.

Sabathia won the A.L. Cy Young last season compiling a 19-7 record and 3.21 ERA. Although he didn't perform well in the postseason last year, neither did the Yanks current ace Wang. In the event Sabathia does end up in the Bronx next year, it would surely help Wang and the rest of the rotation (Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and supposedly Joba Chamberlain.) That is a strong young rotation that could lead the Yankees to the promise land for years to come, but for now that's only a thought for the imagination. But that dream could become a reality come 2009..lets see how this unfolds throughout the year. I'll be watching.

(Frank's articles can also be found at HotStoveNewYork)
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