Angels Hunting Sabathia, What's Yankee Backup Plan?

The Yankees may have Scott Boras to thank if they don't sign CC Sabathia, and he isn't even Sabathia's agent. Boras represents Mark Teixeira and has told the Angels he wants a 10-year contract for his client. The team is balking, according to a Los Angeles Times report, and is cooking up an offer for Sabathia in the neighborhood of the $140 million proffered by the Bombers.

That's bad news for the Yankees. Consensus has it that Sabathia prefers the West Coast, and if there's no significant difference in money it would make it much easier for him to make that desire come to fruition. If he doesn't sign, how do the Yankees respond?

Well, they'd probably go to a fifth year on their offer to A.J. Burnett and probably try to outbid all of Derek Lowe's other suitors. Does that mean they'd get into the bidding for Teixeira? Brian Cashman has long said that the team couldn't afford both of the big ticket free agents and prioritized pitching. If there's no CC, though, they would have to jump into the Teixeira fray with both feet.

Even if they signed Burnett, Lowe and brought back Andy Pettitte, they'd have a rotation full of 4.00 ERA types in front of a defense that's only going to drive them higher. And then there's an offense that is full of question marks. Xavier Nady has to repeat his career-best season, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher have to make big rebounds and the gaping chasm of center field still needs filling. All of those things would be just as true with Sabathia in the fold, but without him they loom as much larger problems.

That may be the overall point to take away from all of this. The Yankees keep building from the top down, even though it is the foundation that's stopping them from needing to make major plays for free agents year after year.

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