Wednesday, November 7, 2018

CComing Home: Yankees Re-Sign Sabathia

CC Sabathia. @Yankees.

CC Sabathia is coming home. The Yankees announced on Wednesday afternoon that they have re-signed the veteran left-hander to a one-year contract for the 2019 season.

Sabathia, 38, has spent 10 seasons with the Yankees since he came here in 2009, when he helped lead them to their last World Championship.

In that time, he has become one of the greatest pitchers in Yankees history with a record of 129-80 with a 3.74 ERA (1,810.2IP, 752ER) in 284 starts. On the Yankees’ all-time franchise lists, he ranks fourth in strikeouts (1,593), seventh in starts, 11th in wins and 12th in innings pitched.

Sabathia has made the second-most starts by a Yankees pitcher who began his Major League career with another team, trailing only Hall of Famer Red Ruffing (391).

CC is one of 15 pitchers to pitch in at least 10 seasons with the Yankees, and only OF Brett Gardner (11 seasons since 2008) has a longer continuous tenure among current Yankees.

Gardner signed a one-year deal of his own last week, meaning the Yankees are bringing back their two veteran leaders next season, when they will look to build on the success of the last two seasons. 

They made the ALCS in 2017 and won 100 games in the regular season this year before losing to the eventual World Champion Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.

As a Yankee in the postseason, Sabathia is 8-4 with a 3.45 ERA (104.1IP, 40ER) in 19 appearances (18 starts).

In 2018, Sabathia went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA (153.0IP, 62ER) in 29 starts with the Yankees, producing his lowest ERA since 2012 (3.38). The season marked his third straight with a sub-4.00 ERA after recording ERAs above 4.50 all three seasons from 2013-15.

Since making his Major League debut in 2001 with the Cleveland Indians, Sabathia has a 246-153 (.617) record with a 3.70 ERA and 2,986K in 538 career starts, making him the active leader in strikeouts, innings pitched (3,470.0) and complete games (38, tied), while ranking second in wins and starts to Bartolo Colon (247-188 in 565 games/552 starts).

Sabathia has pitched in 18 Major League seasons (2001-18), and is one of four players — and the only pitcher — to appear in each Major League season since 2001, joining Adrian Beltré, Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki. He is one of 17 pitchers all-time — and the only active pitcher — to make at least 25 starts in 17-or-more seasons (2001-13, ’15-18).

The Vallejo, Calif., native ranks 17th on Baseball’s all-time strikeouts list, and needs 14 more strikeouts to become the 17th member of the 3,000-strikeout club; 14 of the 16 current members are in the Hall of Fame. He is a six-time All-Star (2003-04, ’07, ’10-12) and won the 2007 American League Cy Young Award as a member of the Cleveland Indians, going 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA and 209K.

Sabathia was originally signed by the Yankees as a free agent to a seven-year contract on December 20, 2008. Following the 2011 season, he agreed to a one-year extension for the 2016 season with an additional vesting club option for 2017. He signed a one-year contract for the 2018 season in December 2017.

Sabathia and his wife, Amber, have contibuted plenty to the community, as they established the PitCCh In Foundation in 2009, which is committed to the care and needs of inner-city children while helping to raise self-esteem through sports activities and education.

In 2018, Sabathia was the Yankees’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, his third career nomination (also 2011 and ’14). The award is given annually to the player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

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