2019 will be CC Sabathia’s last rodeo.
It seemed like 2018 was going to be his final year, but the 38-year-old pitcher decided to return for his 19th season in the major leagues and his 11th with the Yankees. If he stays healthy he’ll be a part of a team that hopes to compete for a World Series.
Sabathia joined “Carlin, Maggie and Bart” on Friday afternoon from Yankees spring training in Tampa, Florida. He elaborated on his thinking behind holding off on retirement for another year.
“Just being able to play for this long and still being able to help the team, and be able to go out and still pitch well and play well, is a lot of fun,” said Sabathia. “Especially given the opportunity to win the World Series. I really feel strongly that we have a chance to win here, I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t, putting that stress on my body and my knee after all these years. I just still feel like we have a chance with this group and this core, and I want to be a part of it.”
Sabathia obviously isn’t pitching at the level that helped him win a Cy Young award and compete for others during his prime, but he is still contributing to the team. He was 9-7 in the regular season last year and had a very respectable 3.65 ERA. His veteran presence in the locker room also can't be overstated.
Much of the hubbub this offseason was about where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado would sign. Harper went to the Phillies and Machado went to the Padres, but it seems like the Yankees were never too seriously invested in pursuing either free agent.
Sabathia didn’t mind the lack of a headline-grabbing offseason signing like Machado or Harper.
“We didn’t need either one of them. We’ve got a really good right fielder. We’ve got a really, really good third baseman. So, I think we’re fine. I think if we needed those guys it would be a different story, but I think our team is set the way it is. It’s good.”
Listen above to CMB’s full interview with CC Sabathia.