As any baseball junkie can tell you, the 2008 offseason has started very slowly. While the trade market has been somewhat active, the free agent market is very quiet as only two free agents have signed contracts thus far. So what will it take for us to get some moves?
CC Sabathia must sign a contract. Once CC sets the market, the dominos will begin to fall into place. Or so they say....
But is it really possible for Sabathia, the best free agent on the market, to sign a contract so quickly? Much to my chagrin, I say no.
Think of it like this: Sabathia is the very attractive girl in high school with all the guys trying to go out with her.
In one corner, Sabathia has the Angels, who have alot to offer Sabathia. The Angels are the cool, rich guy who everyone else in school envies. Armed with vast resources, a trendy owner, and lots of sunshine, the Angels seem to be the perfect fit for Sabathia. They can offer Sabathia a large contract (probably Zito-esque) and offer him the comfort of living in California for the next 5-7 years. they are a very attractive option for Sabathia. And on top of everything, the Angels have a very good chance to enchance Sabathia's social standing (i.e win a championship) because their resources are so deep and their team is loaded. Sounds pretty good , huh?
But then in the other corner, we have the Yankees. The Yankees were the rich, big man on campus a few years back, but after graduation, they slowly plunged their way into oblivion. They are looking to do everything in power to rule the high school once again and signing Sabathia will go a long way in restoring their glory. The Yankees will offer Sabathia whatever he wants short of the stadium to bring him to the Big Apple. The problem is that Sabathia is hesitant to date someone who already graduated high school (i.e move to New York) and may have to turn down whatever riches the Yankees throw his way. As we all know, money cannot buy happiness.
Furthermore, all of CC's friends (the good folks at MLBPA) want Sabathia to be in NY because it would set a good precedent for the rest of the starting pitching market. If Sabathia takes $30-$40 million dollars less than he should, then it is possible that the other free agent pitchers will not achieve their full earning potential. That's alot of pressure to put on CC. Oh the drama!
And the finally, we have the Brewers. The Brewers are the really nice, but sorta awkward guy who thinks that he has a shot at Sabathia because of his great personality Sabathia loves the Brewers, but as a boyfriend or just a friend? Even though Sabathia enjoyed his time with the Brewers, he probably will not commit to them because of their low profile and limited resources. Economically, the Brewers are not in the same league as the Yankees or Angels. Even though the Brewers are willing to spend more money on Sabathia than their budget allows, their offer will probably be $30-$40 million less than the Yankees and maybe the Angels as well! The Brewers and their fans have an intense love for Sabathia, but look for him to spurn the small market club for the bright lights of New York or California.
No matter who Sabthia picks, he will be handsomely compensated. This decision really comes down to money vs. comfort. With so much on the line (a new relationship!), you can see why CC would want to take his time in making this decision.
But as a baseball fan, for the love of God CC, can you sign already? This offseason has been brutally slow so far...and I need baseball! Only you can make that happen big guy!