The Rental Car

Well now that the Yankees are officially planning for 2009 we can talk about their supposed #1 target in the offseason CC Sabathia.  Sabathia is only 27, lefthanded and one of the best pitchers in baseball.  Unlike Santana last year, the Yankees can have him this offseason if they open their wallets wide enough.  (I am not paying much attention to the stories that he wants to play in California right now because I think that is just round 1 of the negotiations.)

The problem with Sabathia is he was traded to the Brewers this season and Millwaukee has used him the same way most folks use a rental car.  Translation, they are beating the heck out of him.  Today they will trot him out on three-days rest and they will presumeably do so again Sunday if the game matters.  Since coming to the Brewers he has made 15 starts and thrown less than 100 pitches three times (96, 97 and 99).

You can’t blame the Brewers, they traded for him with no intention of signing him to a long term deal so they are maximizing their use of him.  And, you have to give some props to Sabathia who seems to care about nothing more than pitching his current team into the playoffs- an admirable position in a "me first" world.  But, for teams thinking of signing him to a deal this offseason the warning lights should be flashing.  Sabathia may turn out to be fine, but that is a big risk to take when you are investing over $100 million into a player.  Sabathia could be a savior, but there is also a chance he could come into town with a tired arm and the Yankees need to move cautiously here.