NEW YORK – CC Sabathia is returning to the Yankees’ rotation in 2019.
On Tuesday, the veteran left-hander agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract pending the results of a physical, according to an executive with knowledge of the deal.
After the Yankees were eliminated by the Red Sox in last month’s AL Division Series, Sabathia underwent another arthroscopic “cleanup’’ on his arthritic right knee. As was the case last year, Sabathia is expected to be fully ready for spring training.
Agreement of a new one-year deal was first reported by the New York Post.
Sabathia, 38, continued his recent renaissance in 2018, going 9-7 in 29 starts with a 3.65 ERA – his lowest since the 2012 season. He struck out 140 batters in 153 innings, and his assortment of cut fastballs, sliders and change-ups has reliably induced soft contact over the past three seasons.
Bolstering the club’s rotation is the stated No. 1 objective of general manager Brian Cashman, and the Yankees have much more work to do this winter; only Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Sabathia can be counted on at this stage.
The Yankees are hoping to re-sign veteran lefty J.A. Happ, who could find a three-year deal on the free agent market.
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Diamondbacks free agent lefty Patrick Corbin, 29, has been identified as another primary Yankees target.
And there are trades to explore with the Indians (Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco) and Mariners (James Paxton) as the Hot Stove League gets warmer.
In their first two offseason moves, the Yankees have also retained the two most important veteran clubhouse voices in Sabathia and outfielder Brett Gardner.
Last week, the Yankees and Gardner reached an agreement on a one-year, $7.5 million contract, keeping the current longest-tenured Yankees in pinstripes and out of the free agent market.
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