CC Sabathia will return to Yankees

CC Sabathia.

Yesterday began with CC Sabathia having four years and $92 million dollars remaining on his seven-year deal.

Until a few hours before the deadline, it appeared he was heading toward opting out of the deal. That was before Sabathia announced the news himself in the form of a tweet at 7:23 p.m., which read: “Yankee fans, I’ll be here fighting for number 28 next year.”

Besides using his twitter page, Sabathia also used video to make the announcement. During a 22-second recording, Sabathia issued the following statement:

“Happy Halloween, everybody. I just wanted to be the first to let Yankee fans know that we agreed to a contract extension. I’ll be coming back in 2012. I want to thank the Steinbrenner family for making that happen. My goal the whole time was to be able to finish my career as a Yankee. Hopefully, I can do that. We seem like we got that accomplished today, so I look forward to seeing everybody out at the ballpark next year.”

Contrary to an ESPN report earlier in the evening that said he would opt out, Sabathia agreed to a re-worked deal instead.

“I was confident we would get to an agreement,” Sabathia said. “I wanted to stay here. I love it here. I love pitching here.”

The new deal will be worth five years and $122 million, with an option for a sixth year in 2017 based on him being healthy. That would make the deal worth $142 million over six years. That is $7 million more than Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies for last offseason and makes Sabathia the new highest-paid pitcher in baseball.

“CC is the ace of our pitching staff, a leader in our clubhouse and a driving force for the Yankees in our community,” said Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Cashman in a statement released Monday night. “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.”

Had he not opted out, he would have had four years and $92 million remaining on his contract. 

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


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