Fantasy owners should approve Sabathia's decision

Reports say C.C. Sabathia will sign a seven-year, $160 million deal with the Yankees.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - C.C. Sabathia has apparently given up his desire to pitch on the West Coast and been pulled to New York City by the almighty dollar...a lot of dollars. Reports say he will sign a seven-year, $160 million deal with the Yankees.

But what will this mean for the fantasy owner?

After all, he's been one of the top pitchers in baseball for a few years now and coming down the stretch in 2008 for the Milwaukee Brewers he was unbelievable.

When Sabathia was traded from the Cleveland Indians to Milwaukee in June, I predicted that he would get 15 starts, go 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. In fact, the big lefthander did better than that. With Milwaukee fighting for a playoff spot, Sabathia pitched on three days rest over the final two weeks and made a total of 17 starts. He was magnificent, going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and four shutouts.

After signing the huge contract, Sabathia will make the new Yankee Stadium his home. The dimensions of the new field are the same as the just-closed old stadium...a place where he has not pitched all that well. His career record in Yankee Stadium was a disappointing 1-4 with an 8.61 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP and his overall record against the "Bronx Bombers" was 1-8 with a 6.16 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.

But the good news is that he won't be facing the New York Yankees lineup anymore, he'll be facing the Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals et al. Without facing the Yankees, his statistics are: 116-65 (.641 win percentage), 1609.2 innings pitched, 1,494 hits, 640 ER, 492 BB, 1,361 Ks, ERA 3.58, WHIP 1.23.

The numbers are even better in his new division, the AL East. He is 21-8 against Baltimore, Boston, Tampa Bay and Toronto with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Had Sabathia signed with the Angels, his record against the other AL West teams is a less-than-stellar 14-13, ERA 4.60, WHIP 1.47.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' offense, even in a down year like 2008, was better than either the Indians or Brewers' offense. The "Bombers" scored 789 runs as compared to 765 for the Angels and 750 for the Brewers. If the Yankees score like they are capable of (five-year average from 2004-2008 is 894 runs), then Sabathia should have all the support he needs.

Summing it up, Sabathia is headed to a division where he has pitched well in the past and will be supported by a better offense than he had in 2008 when he went a combined 17-10. Sounds like a 20-win, All-Star type season to me.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

Powered by The Sports Network.