New York Yankees: CC Sabathia deserves an elite sendoff this season

C.C. Sabathia (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
C.C. Sabathia (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is set to announce that 2019 will be the last season of his career. He is a true Yankees legend and deserves a grandiose farewell tour and praise.

The New York Yankees will have to go on without CC Sabathia as a staple of their rotation after this year. The big man is expected to announce his retirement and make 2019 his last season. After what will be an eleven-year career in the Bronx, CC has proved he is a true Yankees legend. A champion in 2009 who has done so much more than that.

For every great free agent signing the Yankees have made a team, there are some awful ones. Going out and signing A.J Burnett worked out short-term, but didn’t work out long-term.

But, there is one player left from that spending spree the Yankees went on going into the 2009 season. His name is Carsten Charles Sabathia and even at seven-years and $161M at the time, the Yanks were getting more than they bargained for.

More. How the Yankees are built like this World Championship team. light

What Sabathia has done in his tenure in the Bronx, now going into his 11th season, has been nothing short of remarkable. For a career that started in Cleveland helping them to the playoffs, that took a detour to Milwaukee and helped them end a 25-year playoff drought, will end in New York as he goes out on his own terms and a legend.

To start, CC has done the number one thing he needed to do as a Yankee to be considered an elite one. He won a World Series title. CC was the ace of that 2009 team. He won 19 games, most in the AL that year, and won the ALCS MVP that helped them clinch the pennant.

He won a title. He helped bring back the Commissioner’s trophy to where it has spent the most time, with the Yankees. He won a world title, which is the biggest standard Yankees fans set their star players on.

In fact, for an entire generation of people, CC has perhaps been the best Yankee. Take someone who is 20 years old now. They likely barely remember 2001. So 2009 is still, to this day, the best Yankee team they have ever seen. From 2009 until now, CC has been a staple. He is the Andy Pettitte to an entire generation of Yankees fans.

But, why CC deserves a grandiose farewell tour, and his number one day to be retired by the Yankees all day is how long and well he has done it. He’s been a little injury prone and not reliable the last few seasons, but what pitcher doesn’t go through a stretch like that?

All-time on the Yankees, and remember a history that goes back over 110 years, CC is elite amongst all pitchers.

He ranks 11th all-time in wins as a Yankee, he sits 38th all-time in winning percentage with an impressive .617, 12th for Yankees pitchers based on WAR at 29.7, 8th all-time in strikeout per 9 innings at 7.918, 12th in Innings pitched, 4th all-time in strikeouts, 7th in games started at 284, 11th in batters faced, and 17th in adjusted pitching wins.

Those are just where he ranks all-time as a Yankee. He spent more time in the Bronx than some of the players above him and still has impressive stats. Let’s not forget, his Cy Young season was not even as a member of the Yankees.

“He has been one of the faces of a generation, the stats speak for themselves, but he has been so much more.”

What is also important to note about CC is how things could have even gone better for the big man. He was on some poor Yankees teams. Sure, the Yankees were never under .500 in any of the prior 10 seasons he has been there, but they missed the postseason three of the years he has been here in 2013,2014, and 2016 and failed to reach the ALCS three other times.

While that is not terrible by any stretch, and it would be glorified for any other team, that is not exactly the Yankees way. Also, a big part of the Yankees missing the playoffs was because of CC’s failure to play a lot. In 2013 he lost 13 games, in 2014 he only started eight games, and in 2016 he has a losing record in 30 starts.

Since 2009, there has been a direct correlation to CC Sabathia pitching well and the Yankees being successful as a team. When he could bring it, the Yankees were better. Now, he finally has a team great enough to let him ride off into the sunset and have little pressure on him.

Overall, CC’s Yankees tenure has been remarkable. Especially considering he was here in the midst of a mini rebuild. He made the all-star three times as a Yankees starter and won 129 games as a Yankee.

CC Sabathia is not going to be the team’s ace this season. He might not even prove to be all that valuable, but his time card is punched. He owes the Yankees nothing. He will be a fine pitcher because he has proved his whole career.

We learned everything we needed to learn about what the Yankees mean to CC last year when he retaliated against the Rays and risked his own financial gain (he got his bonus still) to prove that he loves his Yankees teammates.

If you include that moment, with him winning the world series, and being a one or two starter for nine years is a pretty hefty, unmatchable resume.

There is no doubt that CC is in the fast lane to Cooperstown and will be a Hall of Famer eventually. In the last 15 years, he has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.

But, to not include CC Sabathia as a top 25 Yankee of all-time, or at least close to it, would be unwise. As the game got harder and more analytical, CC always managed to hold his own.

He deserves a tip of a cap and deserves to go out and retire on his own terms. The Yankees got way more than they bargained for out of CC and he helped them out too. Taking one-year deals to end his career, allowing the team to make other moves while he fell off is a testament to how he is a team guy, amongst other things.

So, there should be little doubt we will all one day be celebrating a number 52 retirement. He has been one of the faces of a generation, the stats speak for themselves, but he has been so much more.

While he might not belong on a pedestal with the Jeter’s, Pettitte’s or Rivera’s of the Yankees greats, he came as close as possible to reaching that unfairly, unusually high standard of excellence.

Next. Who is going to play first base for the Yanks? It is still up in the air. dark

This season will be sweet for a lot of reasons for the Yankees. But in the end, we must not forget to appreciate CC Sabathia and what he has done for the Yanks. What a career. Here’s to one more round.