While they would never admit it, you have to think the Yankees got a shiver when they heard Tuesday that Boston's John Lackey will miss all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery, news that could make the winter as sticky as a humid summer for the Yankees. ...
[W]hat if their rich rival makes a play for the Yankees' own ace, CC Sabathia, if - when? - Sabathia triggers the opt-out clause in his contract?
Losing Sabathia to any team would be damaging to a Yankee rotation that has only Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova signed for next season. Losing Sabathia to the Red Sox? Potential baseball disaster. ...
The Red Sox may already have too many big contracts to pursue Sabathia ... If Sabathia opts out, he would be spurning the last four years of his contract, which is slated to pay him $92 million, so he would want more years and more cash.
The last Red Sox pitcher to have 237 IP was Roger Clemens (1996). The last Boston pitcher to do it in consecutive seasons was also Fat Billy (1991-92). That's 20 years ago! However, several Sox pitchers have topped 215 innings recently: John Lackey (215 in 2010), Tim Wakefield (225.1 in 2005), Pedro Martinez (217 in 2004) and Curt Schilling (226.2 in 2004).
Would the Red Sox want to pay the hefty hurler, who turns 32 next July, something like $25 per (5/125? 6/150?!?) through 2016 (or 2017)? Even with slim pickings among free agent starters this winter, I don't think so. (The 2013 FA list is here.)
By the time two days of meetings in Tampa end tomorrow, the Yankees will develop a plan they hope will keep CC Sabathia from opting out of a contract following the World Series. ...Sabathia has three days following the end of the World Series (a possible Game 7 is scheduled for Thursday) to make his decision. We'll have an opt-out answer no later than November 1.
"Their hope is to present Sabathia with an offer he is agreeable with before he opts out," said a person with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking.