THE YANKEES are used to getting their man but surely it must be crystal clear by now that CC Sabathia is not in a New York state of mind.
More than three weeks after the Yanks first dangled a $140 million, six-year deal in front of baseball’s most sough-after free agent, the hefty lefty has yet to take the bait.
General manager Brian Cashman is preaching patience and he’s right…imposing a deadline would probably only succeed in driving the ace pitcher away.
“These free agents, especially when they’re the high end, can dictate the pace,” said Cashman.
“Now I’ve had a chance to meet CC he’s a quality guy. Whether he picks us or doesn’t pick us, I think he’s going through this process with genuine, sincere effort to make the best decision for himself and his family, simple as that.
“We’re not being played, we’re not being manipulated, we’re not being used. I just think that he’s making an informed decision.”
Such are the club’s pitching needs that Cashman and Co. can’t sit around forever in the vain hope that Sabathia will eventually agree to take the Yankee dollar.
Ace pitcher prefers LA to New York
As an ardent Yanks fan, of course I want to see CC in pinstripes. But if he can’t share my passion for the Bronx Bombers then I’d rather he go elsewhere.
Reports suggest that after plying his trade in the baseball backwaters of Cleveland and Milwaukee, Sabathia is concerned about the scrutiny he and his family would be subjected to in New York.
The Big Apple brings out the best in some players, but the bright lights and mass media attention are not for everyone.
The Yanks are pulling out all the stops to persuade Sabathia he would fit right in. They have even enlisted the help of Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, who knows all about hero worship in New York.
But despite all this, Sabathia seems desperate for someone else to come up with comparable offer so he can play on the West Coast, preferably in the National League.
So much so that his representatives have even made overtures to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have money to spend now that they have withdrawn their $45 two-year offer to Manny Ramirez.
Cashman no doubt has a backup plan or two if and when Sabathia officially rules out a move to the Yankees.
But after deciding not to pursue Johan Santana last winter, the Yanks are desperate to land the big one this year…and it shows.