Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Sabathia Opt-Out

CC Sabathia's agent Greg Genske had a very good day today. On top of the large commission he is about to receive from the $160 million dollar contract, Genske orchestrated a fantastic contract for his most high profile client.

The best part of this contract for Sabathia is the opt out clause after year three. There is nothing but upside here for Sabathia. Think about it: if he has three great seasons with the Yankees, then he can opt out of his contract and perhaps go after an even bigger contract in 2011. Keep in mind that Sabathia received the largest contract ever for a pitcher in probably the worst economic climate in years.

That's impressive.

In addition, if Sabathia decides that NY is not right for him or his family, then he can just leave after year three. Sure cash is important, but comfort is mighty important as well. The Yankees better do everything in their power to make Sabathia happy in NY.

And let's just say for argument's sake that Sabathia goes Zito on the Yankees and stinks up the joint for the next few seasons. He can simply refuse to opt out and remain the highest paid pitcher in baseball.

Who knows? Maybe Sabathia will lead the Yankees to a title or two in the next few years and all this talk about an opt out will be for naught. I'm sure Yankee fans would love to have Sabathia for the next seven years, as long as he pitches at an optimal level.

I look forward to a potential "A-Rod" situation during the 2011 season where Sabathia will be asked every day whether he plans to opt out or not. I can already see the eight million "no comment" or another three million "I'll deal with this after the season" coming from Sabathia. He will be pestered more You can bank on it.

For the Yankees, including the opt out was probably the only way this deal was going to get done. They needed Sabathia...badly. They would have done anything short of killing a guy to get this deal done. And thanks to Brian Cashman and deep, deep, deep, very deep pockets of the Steinbrenners, Sabathia is theirs for at least the next three years. Celebrate now, worry later.

By including an option in this contract, Genske has given Sabathia all the power in the future. Well done sir. Unless Sabathia completely falls apart as Yankee, like Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano before him, I see no reason why Sabathia should not opt out after 2011.

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