The New York Yankees picked up a much-needed win in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night and they were led by a pair of free-agents-to-be.
October is, of course, an opportunity for players to become legends while chasing a championship. It’s also a time for players to earn more lucrative contracts or even contract offers in general. For the New York Yankees, CC Sabathia and Todd Frazier are taking full advantage of the ALCS stage.
Just two months ago, Sabathia was sent to the disabled list with right knee inflammation and his season and career were in question.
Go back even further, to the start of the 2017 season, and no one really knew what to expect from CC. The Yankees starting rotation as a whole was a question mark with Sabathia possibly being the biggest uncertainty.
CC rewarded the Yankees this season with a 14-5 record with a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts. But he wasn’t done there. In true veteran fashion, Sabathia has turned it up in October.
In the ALDS, Sabathia made two starts and outpitched potential AL Cy Young Corey Kluber in both games. He picked up a pair of no-decisions but gave the Yankees a chance to win in two do-or-die games.
Then, on Monday, in what was technically not a must-win game but one that was crucial for New York to pick up, CC was dominant. Sabathia picked up the victory after going six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, four walks, and striking out five.
CC Sabathia is set to hit free agency at year’s end and after the regular and postseason that he has had, how could the New York Yankees not extend him a contract offer?
A one-year deal somewhere in the $10-12 million range seems like a fair deal for both parties. Sabathia would compete for a spot in the starting rotation while continuing to provide invaluable veteran leadership to a young team that is still growing.
Fellow free-agent-to-be, Todd Frazier, provided all the offense the Yankees would need in Game 3. Frazier’s three-run, opposite field homer gave New York a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and the Bronx Bombers never looked back.
A five-run fourth inning, capped off by a three-run home run by Aaron Judge, would extend the lead to 8-0, and the Yankees would eventually win 8-1.
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Frazier is not a guy that’s going to hit for average, hitting just .213 this year. He did, however, hit better (.222) after putting on the pinstripes midseason. What the Toddfather does well is hit for power (27 HR this year) and play great defense.
The most valuable asset Frazier has provided the New York Yankees, however, is his love of baseball and clubhouse presence. Todd Frazier loves being a Yankee and you can tell when you watch him play.
When New York made the trade for Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle, the third baseman was the player I was least excited about. I really didn’t see any scenario where the Yankees would re-sign Frazier after this season.
However, the Toddfather is growing on me. His passion for the game is infectious and he appears to be the heart of this team. I wouldn’t give him anything more than a two-year deal worth about $25 million, but I’m starting to be in favor of bringing Frazier back.
On Monday, the free-agents-to-be were the heroes. Whether or not they earned themselves new contracts with the Bronx Bombers is still to be determined. However, what they did do was help give the New York Yankees a much-needed victory in Game 3 of the ALCS.