Yankees can Refocus on CC Sabathia now that Ohtani is no longer an option

The New York Yankees received bad news yesterday when they were officially eliminated from the Shoehi Ohtani sweepstakes. It seems as if the Japanese superstar wanted to avoid the bright lights of NYC, pursuing his own path while trying to create his legacy on another organization devoid of legends across the board.

Thankfully, the Yankees have a reliable fall back plan, someone who’s known to step up under pressure and deliver in the biggest moments on the biggest stage: CC Sabathia. A reunion with Sabathia seems inevitable as the veteran has expressed numerous times throughout the season that he wants to pitch, specifically for the Bronx Bombers.

Yanks general manager Brian Cashman said that he has recently spoken with Sabathia’s agent Kyle Thousand.”We’re going to constantly look to improve our starting rotation if possible. That’s the biggest focus,” Cashman said. “CC Sabathia has been a tremendous Yankee for quite a long time and one of the leaders in that clubhouse and on that field and of our pitching staff. And he’s a free agent.”

These all are positive indicators that the 2009 World Series Champion will suit up for the Yankees once again in 2018. In 2017, Sabathia, 37, went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts this past season, tying Luis Severino for the lead in victories for Yankees starters while posting his lowest ERA since 2012 (3.38). In the postseason, Sabathia was vintage. Every time the Yankees counted on him, he delivered by going 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 11 regular season starts following a Yankees loss.

With Sabathia in the fold, the Yankees can pick up from an incredible 2017 that saw the team bounce back from injuries and low expectations to shock the world and push the heavily favored World Series Champion Houston Astros to the brink in Game 7 of the ALCS. The starting rotation, if healthy, can put the Yankees in position again to contend for another World Series title with Luis Severino, Mashario Tanaka, a full season from Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia, and Jordan Montgomery on the back end.

Free agency hasn’t fully taken off yet as teams have been quite stagnant, waiting for the next move regarding Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani; however, there is no doubt that Cashman will make the right moves necessary to lead the Yankees to the fall classic.

Sabathia leads all active Major Leaguers in strikeouts (2,846), innings (3,317), complete games (38) and quality starts (302). Although he’s made it clear he wouldn’t mind playing for another team, both sides know how vital each other is to be able to complete the Championship puzzle. Adding a second World Series title just seals the deal on a hall of fame worthy career for Sabathia.

Roland Hope IV is a sports writer who covers baseball, basketball, and football. Roland is also a contributor at Fansided and EliteSportsNY.