All speculation is that C.C. Sabathia will leave the Milwaukee Brewers after the 2008 season and head to New York. The Big Apple is typically where the big salaries can be found — and Sabathia’s market value is probably among the highest in Major League Baseball.
But if the Detroit Tigers were willing to compete financially for Sabathia, would he consider coming to The Motor City?
It seems to me that if the Tigers are serious about competing for a championship, they are going to have to acquire top notch free agent pitching as it becomes available. Signing Sabathia would be a true indication that team owner Mike Ilitch is completely dedicated to winning a title.
The Tigers are currently in the top two in player payroll — second only to the New York Yankees. A bit of rearranging may free up enough money to make way for a serious gun like CC.
If the Tigers are going to part ways with Kenny Rogers, they are going to need a legitimate starter to fill the void. Rogers is a work horse and is second to Justin Verlander in innings pitched this season.
If nothing else, it would be in the interest of the Tigers to up the bidding for Sabathia even if he doesn’t sign with us. Why let the Yankees get him by default? If the Yankees are willing to sign him at any price, why not force them to pay an extra $5 or $10 million per year?
It will be interesting to see how things play out this off-season for the Tigers. Last year’s blockbuster trade with the Florida Marlins will be hard to top. But the signing of Sabathia would do just that — and more. It would put Detroit back in the running for a championship.