CC Sabathia is coming back for one more year.
The Yankees and the veteran southpaw agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal, pending physical, SNY confirmed.
Sabathia reportedly did not want to look around elsewhere this winter and wanted to work out a deal quickly with the Yankees to return for 2019, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Sabathia, 38, was previously on a one-year, $10 million deal and had expressed during the season his desire to come back in pinstripes.
The Yankees have made it clear that starting pitching is a priority this offseason -- engaging in preliminary talks with J.A. Happ -- and Sabathia figures to fit in as a back-end piece of their rotation which currently includes Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka.
GM Brian Cashman recently said that he wants to add multiple pitchers and that Sabathia was someone he would want to bring back.
Sabathia went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 153 innings pitched last year.
The Yankees now have a No. 5 (maybe No. 6) starter and pitching mentor locked into the 2019 season.
Sabathia has claimed over and over that next season will be his last, knowing full well his balky knee will only take him so far. Sabathia wanted to close out his time in the big leagues as a Yankee and hopes to add one more ring to bookend his career in pinstripes.
The Yankees signing Sabathia for a modest cost shouldn't have any effect on the club's intention to vastly improve the starting rotation, nor does the money interfere with the quality of the pitchers (or other players) they will strive to sign or acquire via trade.
Sabathia is a pure depth move at this stage in his career, whereby getting 130-150 innings would seem to be a bonus.
One issue the Yankees encountered last season was not having enough depth to the rotation at the onset, relying on a second-year player - Jordan Montgomery - and untested minor leaguers to hold up the backend of the rotation. Montgomery succumbed to Tommy John surgery early on and the rest of the farm system backup plans eventually faltered, forcing the Yankees into buy-mode at the trade deadline.
Expect the Yankees to fill the last two slots in the rotation with two high-quality pitchers with Sabathia to be ready to hold down the backend while mentoring young pitchers, such as Justus Sheffield, as they make starts along the way.