NEW YORK — CC Sabathia‘s $10 million, one-year contract has been finalized by the Yankees, a deal that raises New York’s projected luxury tax payroll for next year to about $178 million.
The deal was announced Tuesday, about 10 days after the sides reached an agreement pending a physical. The 37-year-old left-hander is taking a pay cut from the $25 million he earned this year, when he went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts for his best season since 2012. He was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 10 starts following a Yankees loss.
Sabathia needs periodic injections in his surgically repaired right knee. The six-time All-Star is part of a rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery.
Sabathia is 237-146 with a 3.70 ERA and 2,846 strikeouts in 17 big league seasons with Cleveland (2001-08), Milwaukee (2008) and the Yankees, who first signed him to a $161 million, seven-year deal before the 2009 season. When Sabathia had the right to opt out after the 2011 season, the Yankees agreed to a deal that paid him $25 million in 2016 and included a $25 million option for 2017 that became guaranteed because he did not finish 2016 with a left shoulder injury.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner repeatedly has said New York intends to get under next year’s tax threshold of $197 million, which would reset the team’s base tax rate from 50 per cent to 20 per cent in 2019, the first season after Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are free agents. New York has paid tax annually in each year since the penalties began in 2003.
New York has seven signed players for next season whose salaries total $120.7 million for purposes of the luxury tax: Giancarlo Stanton ($25 million), Tanaka ($22,142,857), Jacoby Ellsbury ($21,857,143), Aroldis Chapman ($17.2 million), Brett Gardner ($13 million), David Robertson ($11.5 million) and Sabathia.
The Yankees have eight players eligible for arbitration whose projected salaries total $30 million: Dellin Betances, Gray, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Tommy Kahnle, Austin Romine, Chasen Shreve and Adam Warren. The rest of the 40-man roster, which includes Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Severino and Montgomery, figures to add approximately $10 million. Each team will be charged a projected $14,044,600 for benefits and extended benefits.
In addition, the Yankees are charged with $3 million for cash transactions. They are credited with $3 million from Miami in the Stanton trade and are debited $5.5 million in the Brian McCann trade to Houston in November 2016 and $500,000 in the Chase Headley trade this month to San Diego.
New York likely would want to start the season $5 million to $10 million below the threshold, allowing the Yankees to add salaries with in-season moves.