CC Sabathia has made it clear that he wants to return to the Yankees in 2018, saying, “this is my home.” However, the 37-year-old free agent won’t be upset if it doesn’t happen.
“If my run is up here — like Joe (Girardi) — I had a great time,” Sabathia said on a Players’ Tribune podcast. “I was here for nine years with some of the best players on the planet, won a World Series, (these are the) greatest fans ever. I was a Yankee. I can say that. But no, I’m good with it.
“It’s weird, I’m good with baseball however it shakes out. If I’m done next year, if I’m done the year after, it is what it is. This is all borrowed time for me. This is extra. I’m just having fun.”
Sabathia went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts during the regular season, and he seems like a good candidate for a one-year deal to stay in the Bronx. He plans to meet with his agent to figure things out.
The 17-year veteran was even better in the playoffs, going 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in four starts. But Sabathia’s magic finally ran out in Game 7 of the ALCS, when he failed to get through the fourth inning, as the team’s exciting postseason run came to an end. Houston went on to win the World Series over the Dodgers.
“This one hurt,” said Sabathia, who cried after the game — something he hadn’t done in a long time during his career. “(The Astros) beat us the first couple games, but we were in every game, and we could’ve easily won every game, so that’s what makes it even harder — when you don’t feel like the best team won.”
Sabathia had only played for Girardi during his tenure in pinstripes — which began in 2009 — but the Bombers decided to make a managerial change. Girardi was very emotional talking about Sabathia after Game 7 ended, and Sabathia got a little emotional when his wife Amber showed him the video.
“I think the news the other day was just kind of shocking considering how the season went, and how we finished,” Sabathia said. “But it was a great run that he had — 10 years coaching the Yankees, we won a World Series, we had a lot of wins. He coached a lot of Hall of Famers, I feel like, some big moments.
“I feel like me and Joe was always good because he was always concerned about my family. And that’s the biggest thing for me. He’s always asking about ‘Little C’ and my wife, and I always loved him for that. It felt good that he took an interest in my family, so we always got along in that respect.”
Asked what he thinks an important quality is in the next manager, Sabathia replied: “Somebody that’s a good communicator with the players. Somebody that you can talk to about anything at any time — especially with these young guys. Somebody that these guys can really talk to and trust.”
Sabathia, who endured a rough start and what he thought was potentially career-ending knee pain in Toronto in August, expounded on the emotion he felt once the 2017 campaign was over.
He initially wasn’t going to watch the Fall Classic, but ended up watching some of Game 1, which helped him get over the pain of losing.
“You’re just chasing the feeling, and I know how hard it is to get to where we did,” Sabathia said. “It’s going to be hard (to get back). It’s hard as a team when you come back with a target on your back — especially as young guys. And our young guys carried us. But I think we have guys that are going to work hard (in the offseason).”
Sabathia’s offseason will include a lot of times with his kids, workouts and travel.
The Yankees officially named Kevin Reese their new Senior Director of Player Development. Reese is replacing Gary Denbo, who departed to help Derek Jeter in Miami. … Third-base coach Joe Espada was officially named bench coach in Houston. … The Bombers are still awaiting word from Masahiro Tanaka, who has until Saturday to inform the team whether he is opting out of the final three years and $67 million left on his deal.