A baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com today that the Texas Rangers, currently one win away from a second straight trip to the World Series but likely to lose starter C.J. Wilson to free agency over the winter, are preparing to make a strong bid to sign CC Sabathia if the Yankees ace chooses to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, as expected.
"I hear they're going to throw a boatload of money at him,'' said the source, who requested anonymity, "But I think he'll stay with the Yankees. He's talked so much about how much he loves New York, and besides, the Yankees can't afford to lose him from that pitching staff.''
Sabathia won 19 games for the Yankees this season, and has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA in his three seasons in New York. But he faltered down the stretch somewhat, including allowing a damaging run in the Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the ALDS. Sabathia is eligible to opt out of his seven-year, $161 million deal three days after the conclusion of the World Series. Yankees GM Brian Cashman refused to comment on the Sabathia situation, and a call to Sabathia's agent, Greg Genske, was not immediately returned.
Rangers principal owner, president and CEO Nolan Ryan, who does not believe in holding his pitchers to pitch counts, a is known to favor workhorse pitchers and Sabathia, who threw 237-1/3 innings this season, is perennially among the league-leaders in innings pitched. The Texas Rangers did not return a call seeking comment.