CC and Yanks Agree to Framework for Deal
By By Jay Sorgi
"The CC era is over in Milwaukee."
The simple words of Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who admitted to the fact that the offer the Yankees have put in front of free agent pitcher CC Sabathia was one he couldn't refuse, and one the Brewers never had a chance to match.
Sabathia and the New York Yankees have agreed on the framework for a $161 million, seven-year dea, which is the richest contract for a pitcher in baseball history.
The Yankees and Sabathia's agents still need to work out all of the contract details, a baseball official familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been finalized.
"CC's agent, Greg Genske, called me this morning, and told me that we were no longer in consideration for his services, and that he was going to move on," said Melvin on TODAY'S TMJ4's Live at Noon.
"He was offered a substantial deal that they had to seriously consider."
Melvin had said earlier this week that the Brewers were not out of the Sabathia sweepstakes, and he remained optimistic until the call came this morning.
"We do know he enjoyed his experience here, and had a very, very substantial offer, the most we've ever offered a player."
But that offer was reportedly two years and $61 million short of what the Yankees have placed in front of Sabathia.
"We were seriously considering offering a sixth year, which we did not, but we worked up the numbers yesterday, and we were seriously considering it, but it would not have made a difference."
Sabathia's difference in Milwaukee proved to be the biggest piece of a playoff run that ended up with the team's first-ever postseason appearance in 26 years, a berth clinched by a Sabathia complete game in a 3-1 victory over the Cubs.
"We just had one heck of a summer. He provided a lot of excitement, something that I'll always remember as a general manager, as an organization, and I know that our fans enjoyed CC here, and we wish him the best as he moves on."
Might Sheets Be Moving On?
Melvin also spent time with fellow free agent pitcher Ben Sheets and his agent, but Melvin states that they didn't get into much actual negotiations.
"I think Ben is also having opportunities in the free agent market," admits Melvin.
"We didn't really get into negotiations about Ben coming back here as he continues to pursue multi-year deals."
What Do the Brewers Do Now?
"We'll move on and move forward and try to put a pitching staff together," states Melvin, but doing so without their top two starters is a high-level challenge.
The current top four starters would be Yovani Gallardo, Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan and Manny Parra.
"Seth McClung would probably be the individual today, if the season started, that we would put in there as our fifth starter, but there's still time," says Melvin.
"We feel confident that we'd be able to add a pitcher or two to our bullpen or starting staff.
"We would like to add some pitching to our depth that we have, and getting Gallardo to pitch is huge for us, but we have to make sure that everybody stays healthy, because we're not as deep as we've been in the past."
Since the Brewers offered Sabathia free agency, the Brewers will receive the Yankees' first-round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, along with a compensatory pick between the first and second round picks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.