CC Sabathia has stated on multiple occasions that he wants to pitch in The Bronx next season, but it appears the 37-year-old free agent won’t hold a grudge against the Yankees if he’s not in their future plans.
In a new podcast episode for The Players’ Tribune, the veteran southpaw reflected on his time with New York and his relationship with Joe Girardi, who was recently relieved of his managerial duties with the franchise.
“If my run is up here, like Joe [Girardi], I had a great time,” Sabathia said. “I was here for nine years with some of the best players on the planet, won a World Series, [had the] greatest fans ever. I was a Yankee. I can say that. But no, I’m good with it.
“It’s weird, I’m good with baseball however it shakes out. If I’m done next year, if I’m done the year after. It is what it is. This is all borrowed time for me. This is extra. I’m just having fun.”
In 27 starts this season (148.2 innings), Sabathia finished 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA — his lowest mark since 2012. He also allowed just 61 earned runs — his lowest mark with at least 25 starts in his 17-year career. His postseason brilliance this October helped push the Yankees to Game 7 of the ALCS against the Hoston Astros. Unfortunately, in that do-or-die game, Sabathia and his teammates ran out of luck, and Houston advanced and eventually won their first World Series title.
“This one hurt,” Sabathia said of the loss. “[The Astros] beat us the first couple games, but we were in every game, and we could’ve easily won every game, so that’s what makes it even harder — when you don’t feel like the best team won.”
Sabathia was also surprised by Girardi’s departure.
“I think the news the other day was just kind of shocking considering how the season went and how we finished,” he said. “It was a great run that he had. Ten years coaching the Yankees, we won a World Series, we had a lot of wins. He coached a lot of Hall-of-Famers, some big moments.
“I feel like me and Joe were always good because he was always concerned about my family. And that’s the biggest thing for me. He’s always asking about ‘Little C’ and my wife, and I always loved him for that. It felt good that he took an interest in my family, so we always got along in that respect.”
Should the Yankees bring Sabathia back, there will be a new skipper overlooking the club, and Sabathia has an idea of what the front office should be looking for in a candidate.
“Somebody that’s a good communicator with the players,” he said. “Somebody that you can talk to about anything at any time — especially with these young guys. Somebody that these guys can really talk to and trust.”
In 17 major league seasons, Sabathia has won 237 games, which is the second-most among active players (Bartolo Colon, 240) and tied for 60th all-time with Hall-of-Famers Clark Griffith and Waite Hoyt.