Let the rumor mill begin. I’m not sure what to make of this, but its been out there the past few days so I just thought I’d pass it along. ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine was quoted as saying he “knows” CC will opt out and “head to Los Angeles or Chicago”. I didn’t hear him say this myself and would prefer a transcribed quote from a major news outlet, but it has been reported in enough fan sites and blogs that I’ll take reports of Valentine’s quote as largely accurate. Some sites also have MLBN’s Howard Reynolds agreeing with Valentine. We’re left to wonder where he would get this from. The most obvious connection would be Greg Genske of Legacy Sports Group, who represents Sabathia. I tried to find who Valentine’s agent is, but came up empty. Saying that CC will opt out isn’t newsworthy, everyone assumes that will happen. But saying he’s planning to head elsewhere is something we haven’t heard from anyone but Bobby V.
My first impression is this is just negotiating through the press. The Yanks have been doing some of their own, using mouthpieces like Kay to say they’re concerned about CC’s weight and loss of stuff down the stretch. But don’t underestimate the potential for these negotiations to get ugly, and don’t dismiss the possibility that he leaves. As we saw last year with Derek Jeter, and as Brian Cashman has been quoted saying many times, there’s no such thing as an easy negotiation. Mariano Rivera’s last contract was a tough negotiation, and there weren’t any other realistic suitors. The Yanks want him back, CC has stated he wants to come back, but once someone declares free agency you never know what can happen. Stay tuned.
EDIT 10-10-11 7:06 AM-Commenter Michael P. raises an excellent point. Neither of the teams Valentine mentions currently has a GM, so its impossible to “know” who their offseason targets will be. Tough to take Bobby V (who I like a lot) seriously on this one.
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