First they sign C.C. Sabathia, who will be 28 years old in April, to an 8 year deal. Because fat-ass fireballers always awesome in their mid-thirties. Clearly, he will be worth those $20 million dollars for about 2 years or so.
Look, I love C.C. Sabathia, from a grudging perspective. As a Twins fan, I was well aware of what he was capable of, back when he was playing for somewhat sketchy Cleveland teams. In the past two seasons, he's been one of the best pitchers in baseball. I also know that he has some injury history, and has never a been "healthy" weight.
I didn't know this until I looked up his career stats, but here are some things that I would have thought about before I spent 160 million dollars on him: prior to two the last two seasons, he had never pitched 205 innings; he hadn't had 200 Strike Outs in a season. Even taking his great run over the last two years, he has NEVER won 20 games.
Don't get me wrong--like I said, I respect CC, a lot. I've seen him befuddle my team of choice for for about 7 years. But 8 years? And about 20 million bucks a pop? How good is CC going to be at age 32? 33? 34?
And now, they've signed A.J. Burnett to a much more "reasonable" deal (in Yankee land)--5 years, $82.5 million deal--why, that's only (quick math here) $16.5 million per year. AJ will be 32 when the season starts. Quick math again: Both of these guys will be in their mid to late 30's when their contracts expire.
Do the Yankees really expect Burnett and Sabathia to continue to get better from here on out? Or are they rewarding them for their great work with other franchises? Prior to last season, A.J. had never won even 15 games in a year--his career high before last year's 18 was 12 wins! He has started over 30 games in his long career exactly twice. AJ pitched over 200 innings last year, but in the 4 of the 5 years before last year, he had pitched under 175 innings. Seems risky, Husky Pup.
I look forward to the Yankees, about halfway through the 2009 season, realizing that their offense is just gotten a year older, and their big time pitchers are struggling with shoulder injuries, and that oh, yeah, the country is in a recession, and go to Congress to ask for a bailout.