CC Sabathia is 38 years old, on balky knees, and set for free agency. But he reiterated Monday that he wants to pitch in 2019.
"I definitely want to play next year," he said before Game 3 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium. "I'll play anywhere, whoever needs me.''
Sabathia, who gets the start in Game 4 on Tuesday, had a 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with 140 strikeouts in 153.0 innings (29 starts) during the season.
While he isn't close to what he was during his prime -- and his innings pitched per start are dropping -- Sabathia still has value as someone who can be relied on to take the ball when needed and produce. Since an injury-riddled 2014 season, he has made at least 27 starts each of the last four seasons. His ERA during that span is 4.01.
Sabathia signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Yankees before the season, and could be valuable to them next season as a back-end starter who pitches after Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka.
Who starts in 2019 for the Yankees beyond Severino and Tanaka is unsettled.
J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn are free agents, and the disappointing Sonny Gray is eligible for arbitration. In-house options could include Luis Cessa, Domingo German, and Jonathan Loaisiga. Jordan Montgomery underwent Tommy John surgery during the season and is expected to be out until 2020.
Another rotation option for the Yankees could be Justus Sheffield, who made his major league debut late during the regular season in relief.