The stagnant pace of free agency has sparked talks of a looming labor strike in MLB and some of the Yankees are taking notice.
CC Sabathia, who said on his podcast last month that it was "f---ing nuts" so many free agents were still unsigned, certainly believes it is a strong possibility when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021.
"Just with the way everything has been going, I think," Sabathia said on Friday, per NJ.com. "A lot of players not being signed, good players not being signed. Yeah, I mean, I think that's where players are at right now."
Sabathia, 38, re-signed with the Yankees in November on a one-year deal, which he announced last week that it will be his final season of his career.
The left-hander points to the dozens of free agents still unsigned as we near the end of February as the reason why a work stoppage is possible.
"I haven't really, really dug in and talked to anybody about it, but I just know how slow it's been in free agency and it's the only sport that's kind of suffering from that right now," Sabathia said. "So that's always been the stance of the players, just try to make it better for us all the time. So, yeah, that may be something that we have to look into."
Sabathia will no longer be active when the current CBA expires in 2021, but Adam Ottavino likely will be.
The Yankees signed the 33-year-old to a three-year, $27 million deal in January, but he sounded a little more unsure about the likelihood of a work stoppage.
"Likely?" he said, when asked. "I don't know. I can't handicap the odds. I don't know how the negotiations will go for the next CBA. But I think they're going to be looking to make major changes. I think both sides are really going to have to dig in and figure out what's best for the sport."
While Manny Machado recently scored a 10-year, $300 million deal this week with the Padres, the Yankees reliever noted that his deal was more of an outlier and that the system is broken.
"I think that the last two years in free agency scares a lot of guys because the current system is based on getting to that sixth year and then getting rewarded and then there's service time manipulation and a lot of other things that could be a false oasis at the end of the dessert," he said. "So they're probably going to look to change the whole system."