It's the question that nobody wants to ask. With Yankee Land seemingly revolving around the gigantic left handed planet known as CC, we should take into thought what would happen should Sabathia spurn the Yankees $140 million dollar offer and sign elsewhere. I shutter to think.
Would the world end?
I suppose not. But I think some sort of mass hysteria would ensue in Yankee-ville. Fans, who thought this deal was a slam dunk from the start, would have their hearts ripped out as Sabathia "selfishly" chooses comfort over cash. Since when has a big free agent rejected the Yankees? Uh, never. That'd be enough hysteria to make Hank Steinbrenner's blood boil.
Where and who would GM Brian Cashman turn to next? Now with $140+ million bucks to spend, Cashman can have a grand ole' party on the free agent market.
Target #1: Mark Teixeira
-This is the scenario that Scott Boras falls asleep to every night. Boston and New York fighting over the most coveted free agent on the free agent market...and did I mention that he's only 28! Forget 8 years/$160 million dollars, the bidding on this one could go into the next galaxy as the Yankees try to use their financial might to try and persuade Teixeira to stay away from Bean town and sign with the pinstripes. Just like CC, will he go with the heart or with the cash?
Target #2: AJ Burnett
All of a sudden five years don't seem so bad, huh? After losing out on Sabathia, the Yankees will heavily pursue Burnett, the next best pitcher on the free agent market and throw him an offer he cannot refuse. Fourth year mutual option...pssh! We're going five years guaranteed on this one!
(Note to AJ's Agent: you might want to wait a little while to see what happens with CC before you do anything. Just some food for thought)
Target #3: Derek Lowe
Up until this point, Lowe has been unable to find a team willing to offer him the 5 years/$15 mil per season that he is looking for. And I don't care what happens with Sabathia, there ain't a chance in hell the Yankees give him that deal. With that said, if they don't sign CC, all bets are off. I say three years for sure, with four years not being too far out of the picture probably somewhere in the $10-$13 million dollar range. Lowe would love to pitch in NY again and the Yankees would love to have him. If CC and Burnett are off the board and the Yankees are pitcher-less, Lowe picks up a major bargaining chip.
AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS!
Target #4: Manny Ramirez
Yes, I said it. The Manny Ramirez show would be natural fit in the middle of the Yankees order and would give them a lineup that should only be believable in fantasy leagues. But hey, if they ain't got no pitching, then how are they going to win? Lots of 12-10, 9-8 type of ballgames. Furthermore, without the Sabathia hype rockin' the new stadium, the Yankees will need some sort of buzz to enter the new yard. Enter: Manny Ramirez.
I cannot wait for Sabathia to make up his mind. It seems as though every time Sabathia speaks or merely walks to the left, someone has to report it as a rumor (thanks Ned Colletti). It takes a mountain of a man to reject $140 million bucks, but maybe Sabathia is just that kind of dude. Or maybe he's not a NY kind of guy.
Furthermore, I would love to see the kind of reaction that Sabathia gets the first time he steps into Yankee Stadium wearing another team's colors. The boos will be intolerable, bigger and brasher than Mike Hampton boos at Shea Stadium, circa 2001. Yankee fans will be relentless, and rightfully so ("He was supposed to be ours!"). What a sight that'll be.