New York Yankees left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia made it extremely clear that he intends on playing in 2019 despite his advancing age.
CC Sabathia says he definitely wants to pitch next year. #Yankees
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 8, 2018
Sabathia, 38, re-signed with the Yankees last offseason and earned $10 million in 2018. He went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts, missing time here and there with knee and hamstring issues.
It’s great Sabathia’s knee is feeling well enough that he feels he can pitch in 2019, but is there a spot for him in the Bronx? Sure, he looked strong at some points during the season, but he also got shelled some months.
He had a 5.92 ERA in May, a mark of 5.48 in July, and one of 5.40 last month. There were great performances sprinkled in between, but should New York invest in an inconsistent, aging veteran?
It’s also worth noting Sabathia’s groundball rate (GB%) dipped to 44.4% from 49.9% last year. He often had issues locating his cutter this season and it reflected in his metrics. His fly ball rate (FB%) jumped to 35.3% from 27.9%.
Moreover, the Yankees have some big questions to answer about their starting rotation next year. Save for Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and maybe Sonny Gray, the back end of the rotation is up for grabs.
And despite all the red flags that come with CC Sabathia, who turns 39 next summer, it’s hard to see him pitching with another team in 2019. He and his family live in New Jersey all year round, and he genuinely loves being a part of his team.
Thus, if the money is right, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be back with the team as a voice of veteran leadership.