CC Sabathia signs with Yankees

According to the always reliable New York Post, CC Sabathia has signed with the Yankees. The rumored offer of 6/140 apparently turned into 7/160.

We looked at CC’s value a month ago and determined that he was a +5.5 win pitcher for 2009. That means the Yankees are paying $4.15 million per win for Sabathia – significantly less than our projected $5 million per win, which was based on an assumption of salary inflation. It’s less than what teams were paying per win last year, when a win was going for about $4.4 million on the open market. His contract is basically the same as Johan Santana’s, but Johan wasn’t a free agent.

This deal makes the Yankees a better team, yada yada yada. You’ll hear all kinds of people talk about how this deal impacts New York. For me, the more interesting development stemming from this contract is that it cements the fact that we’re going to have an off-season of salary deflation, in terms of cost per win, for the first time in a long time. If ever there was a case where we could have expected an overpay in terms of dollars per win, it’d be with the premier free agent pitcher on the market and the Yankees in the bidding.

So, now, this offseason, we’ve seen the following signings:

Francisco Rodriguez
: +2 wins, $12 million per year – $6 million per win
Edgar Renteria +2 wins, $9 million per year – $4.5 million per win
Ryan Dempster: +3 wins, $13 million per year – $4.3 million per win
CC Sabathia: +5.5 wins, $23 million per year – $4.2 million per win
Jeremy Affeldt: +1 win, $4 million per year – $4 million per win
Casey Blake: +1.7 wins, $6 million per year – $3.5 million per win
Bob Howry: +1 win, $3 million per year – $3 million per win
Mike Hampton: +1 win, $2 million per year – $2 million per win
Adam Everett: +1 win, $1 million per year – $1 million per win

Last year’s rate was $4.4 million per win. Renteria got something close to that, as did Sabathia. K-Rod got a bit more. Everyone else has signed for less.

The assumption of inflation has to be thrown out the window. This is a stagnant market at best – teams just aren’t paying $5 million per win this year. Assuming the economy rebounds somewhat in the next 12 months, I have a feeling that 2008 will be viewed much like 2003, when Vladimir Guerrero got $75 million for five years and everyone instantly asked themselves how the Angels got such a steal.

2008 looks to be the year of the buyer.





Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Troy Patterson
Guest

ESPN is reporting 7 years and 160 million

2009-2011 should be worth it, but I worry about after that.