The 38-year-old free agent is an interesting fit for a young team that wants to add pitching. Here’s why the Blue Jays might, once again, pursue C.C. Sabathia and why it still makes sense to do so.
Carsten Charles Sabathia, more known as C.C. Sabathia, wants to play for one more year, and he could do it on a team whose President of Baseball Operations is the man who was the General Manager of the Cleveland Indians when he made his major league debut.
That’s right, President Mark Shapiro was Sabathia’s general manager in Cleveland from 2001 until the six-time All Star was dealt to the Brewers in July 2008. Something worth noting too is that, Blue Jays General Manager, was the Indians Assistant Director of player development in 2001.
In last year’s off-season, according to reports, the Blue Jays had an in person meeting with Sabathia at the winter meetings in Tampa. Talks didn’t come to fruition as the left hander ultimately chose the Yankees over the Blue Jays, but the Jays had strong interest in Sabathia.
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Pursuing the former Cy Young pitcher still makes a lot of sense by looking at the numbers: Sabathia managed to pitch 153 innings, five more than in 2017, and made 29 starts, two more than the previous season. Even though he battled knee issues for the second year in a row, his durability remains solid. In fact, he pitched more innings than any of the 2018 Blue Jays starters.
His ERA (earned run average) went down from 3.69 in 17′ to 3.65 in 18′ and more importantly, his FIP (fielding independent pitching) improved from 4.46 to a solid 4.16 in 18′. His BB/9 remained at 3.00 and his SO/9 increased from 7.3 to 8.2. The veteran starter managed to decrease the HR/9 too, from 1.3 in 17′ to 1.1 in 18′. Overall, Sabathia improved all of his numbers, and there are no numbers that indicate he’s getting worse as the years go by.
After looking at the numbers, and considering the Blue Jays current situation in which the team does not want to spend a lot of money, nor give out long term deals, and needs pitching as well as veteran presence, Sabathia’s fit with the Blue Jays is nearly perfect. Do not be surprised if the Blue Jays show strong interest in the six time all star once again.