CC Sabathia’s spot in the Yankees 2016 rotation not guaranteed

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The New York Yankees are bound to pay CC Sabathia an amount not less than $30 million, and maybe as much as $50 million, over the final two seasons of his contract.

But the team is not required to give the player a spot in their 2016 rotation. The 35-year-old left-hander, who just got out of rehab for alcohol abuse, will have to work hard in order to earn a starting spot in spring training.

When general manager Brian Cashman was asked about the player’s future with the team, at the baseball’s GM meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, he said “We’ll see.”

“We’ve got a lot of guys who are going to be vying for those five spots,” Cashman said. “I’m not guaranteeing anybody anything.”

According to Cashman, Sabathia doubtful presence in next season’s rotation has nothing to do with his recent stay in an alcohol rehab center or with a reported weekend bender in Baltimore, but more with the amount of great arms  in the Yankees’ pitching staff.

Sabathia has gone during the past three seasons 23-27 with a 4.81 ERA, while declining on his fastball speed. The player also struggled with injury problems and a deteriorating right knee.

The player got his knee drained several times in the 2015 season, and ended on the disabled list in August.

But after Sabathia received a new knee brace, he returned with five good starts in September, going 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA.

“I like what CC did for us down the stretch in September, once he got the knee brace perfected,” Cashman said. “He was a successful pitcher for that short period of time and very effective. We took notice of it. So certainly the hope is that he would be a viable member of that rotation. Let’s just see how the winter shakes out first.”

Sabathia said during a charity event in Manhattan last Friday, that even though staying a month in rehab, he has started working out.

“I’ve only been out a week, and I’ve been playing catch every day,” he said. “It’s hard for me to stay away. This will be the first normal offseason I’ve had in a couple of years, so I’m going to be ready. My goal next year is to make all my starts and not go on the DL. I felt like if I could do that, my numbers will be there.”

The 2007 AL Cy Young Award, has a career record of 214-129 and a 3.69 ERA. He is 97-56, 3.73 as a Yankee.

 

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