Friday, December 12, 2008

CC to NY

No, we haven't forgotten about baseball. Even in the thick of the fantasy football playoffs, the record contract CC Sabathia is about to sign with the New York Yankees is worth the attention.

Sabathia is obviously one of the premier pitchers in baseball and a major fantasy commodity. But how does the move to the Bronx affect his value?

His numbers last year with the Indians and Brewers were off the charts - 17-10, 2.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 251 Ks. Pretty spectacular stuff right there. But CC doesn't come without some concerns, either. He pitched a massive amount of innings last year, a career-high 253. Historically, he hasn't pitched well at Yankee Stadium (1-4, 8.61 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, as The Sports Network points out), and the Bombers' new home has the same playing field dimensions. And while he feasted on some weak-hitting NL lineups during his blistering late-season stretch with the Brewers last year, he now moves to the dangerous AL East (although he does have pretty good career numbers against the Yanks' division rivals). And of course there's always the pressure-cooker that is New York, which has ruined many a pitcher before.

I think CC will be hard-pressed to match his phenomenal second-half production next year in Pinstripes. However, he's still capable of reaching, say, his 2007 Cy Young totals - 19-7, 3.21 ERA, 209 Ks - which would make him one of the top three fantasy pitchers in the game, right up there with Johan Santana and perhaps Tim Lincecum. For now, let's pencil him in at No. 2, right behind Mr. Santana, and check back in when it's closer to pitchers-and-catchers time.

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