CC Sabathia Willing To Lose Weight, Says Deal With Yankees Not About Money

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — For CC Sabathia, there’s no better place to pitch than Yankee Stadium.

He’ll do whatever it takes to stay on the mound as the Bombers’ ace — even if it means trimming down.

“It’s something I do regardless, and be proactive,” Sabathia said during a conference call after agreeing to a new five-year, $122 million deal with the Yankees. “I just need to go out and be healthy and try to do what I can to be up there for every start for this team. For me, that means losing weight, so that’s what I’ll do.”

The big left-hander decided to stay with New York rather than test the free-agent market, agreeing Monday to add $30 million and one season to his existing contract.

Listed by the Yankees as 290 pounds, Sabathia lost weight going into spring training but appeared to gain it back this season. He went 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA but was 0-1 in his last three starts, then didn’t get a decision in two postseason starts and allowed a key run in Game 5 against Detroit, when he made his first career relief appearance and New York was eliminated with a 3-2 loss.

The 31-year-old had until midnight to opt out of his current agreement, which had $92 million remaining over the next four years in $23 million annual salaries.

New York added a $25 million salary for 2016 and gets a $25 million option for 2017 with a $5 million buyout.

“It was just more time. That’s all it was. It was never a question about money or anything like that,” Sabathia said. “I just want to end my career here. I want to make sure I end my career as a Yankee and, hopefully, I’ve done that.”

Sabathia agreed to a $161 million, seven-year deal with New York before the 2009 season. He has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA during the regular season for the Yankees.

Sabathia headed a staff that included rookie Ivan Nova, injury prone Phil Hughes, inconsistent A.J. Burnett and surprise additions Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. Without Sabathia, the Yankees’ rotation would have been in trouble.

“CC is the ace of our pitching staff, a leader in our clubhouse and a driving force for the Yankees in our community,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. “He is exactly the type player and person that Yankees fans and this organization can be proud of. We are excited that he will be wearing the pinstripes for many years to come.”

When he signed with the Yankees after pitching for Cleveland (2001-08) and Milwaukee (2008), Sabathia moved his family from California, where he grew up in Vallejo, to Alpine, N.J.

He said the key for him was his family “and making sure everything was kosher with them” with living in the New York area. Then he learned what it was like pitching in the $1.5 billion new Yankee Stadium.

“The energy, what you get coming out the bullpen, the fans,” he said. “Everything it is it is to be pitching in New York, in the Bronx. It’s just so much fun. To be part of this organization is just a dream for me.”

Sabathia’s option becomes guaranteed if he does not end the 2016 season on the disabled list because of a left shoulder injury, does not spend more than 45 days of 2016 on the DL with a left shoulder injury or does not make six or more relief appearances in 2016 because of shoulder issues.

He retains a hotel suite on trips, a no-trade provision and the right to buy tickets.

“My son loves it here. All my kids love it here. My wife loves it here, obviously, and I do, too. I love pitching for the Yankee fans and everything, so it was the easy choice,” Sabathia said.

Yankees fans — are you happy with Sabathia’s new deal? Do you think he’ll lose the weight? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Markstripes

    The Yankees should have insisted on an “opt-out” clause of their own, in the event that CC gains weight. If CC is around 260 lbs. he’ll be terriffic. If he’s 300 lbs. that’s another story.

  • T Banish

    It seems like CC is just a good guy and wants to be a yankee. I have to believe if he says he needs to watch his weight he will. Not that it its not about money, but he didn’t try to bleed them. I respect the way he went about the whole process.
    Good luck CC!!!!

  • Dan

    he’s WILLING to lose weight? by the end of the year he resembled a sumo wrestler..that new contract should mandate he takes off 50 lbs…and keeps it off. How nice of him to “consider” it for 122 million dollars…

  • DrJ

    Who said that CC was going to ‘starve’ himself to lose weight? I cannot find that suggestion anywhere in this article or elsewhere on the web.

    Your words about a starvation diet are true.

    However, I do not think that with all the resources available to him that he will choose this self-destructive technique.

  • Sarah Condit

    Most people think they can just starve themselves to lose weight but you can’t do that because your body will go into something called starvation mode. What happens is your body will slowly eat itself. If you want to know why you can’t starve yourself to lose weight, this article gives a great explanation on it.

  • Larry

    I am glad CC is staying but how come players always say its not about money whenver they get more of it. If its not about money how come the extention is for more than the $23 million per year he is already making? ITS ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY, I just wish a player would be honest about it for once.

    Still glad he’s staying!, and Cash too!

  • Chris Astrella

    CC is the man

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