Remember when C.C. Sabathia made the ultimate team-first move when he decided protecting his catcher was more important than a bonus check?
Things are getting a bit heated in Tampa after CC Sabathia plunked Sucre pic.twitter.com/r6KzrlFbf6
— Tater Talk (@TaterTalkPod) September 27, 2018
In case you forgot, Sabathia entered his Sept. 27th matchup with the Rays on the cusp of hitting his 155 inning incentive which would earn the veteran lefty a $500,000 bonus.
Cruising through 5 innings at only 55 pitches Sabathia needed only 6 more outs to earn his bonus, which he undoubtedly would have reached as the Rays mustered only 1 hit through his 5 innings of near flawless work.
Then, in the top of the 6th inning, one of the Rays’ interchangeable relievers, Andrew Kittredge, threw behind the neck of Austin Romine with his first pitch of the 6th in a lackluster, unwarranted attempt to retaliate for Sabathia unintentionally hitting Rays’ Jake Bauers the previous inning.
Warnings were immediately issued, and Sabathia had to be cut off at the pass by Aaron Boone as he stormed out of the dugout, clearly upset his battery mate was throw at.
To start the bottom of the 6th, with an 11-0 lead and his bonus clearly in sight, the big man did not hesitate for a second to get Romine’s back plunking Rays’ catcher Jesus Sucre in the leg with his first pitch of the inning. Immediately ejected, Sabathia fell 6 outs short of earning his bonus, but further endeared himself amongst his teammates and the fanbase for his leadership and team-first mentality.
As reported by AP Sports, while the Yankees tried to keep it private, and were in no way contractually obligated to do so, they honored that bonus, privately paying Sabathia the $500,000 he would have certainly earned.
APNewsBreak: CC Sabathia gets $500,000 bonus despite ejection from final regular-season start. @ronaldblum https://t.co/p6NZeYc1UT
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) December 17, 2018
“We thought it was a very nice gesture by the Yankees,” Sabathia’s agent, Kyle Thousand of Roc Nation Sports, told The Associated Press on Monday. “CC was very appreciative and is really excited to come back next year and, hopefully, win a championship.”
While neither side reported the decision, it was discovered upon release of the Yankees final 2018 luxury tax payroll.
“It was something that we did very private and weren’t looking to publicize, and I’ll just leave it at that,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
Sabathia will begin the 2019 with a 5 game suspension for the incident.
Follow me on Twitter, @JaredSaul