Steinbrenner: Sabathia has deadline to accept Yankees' offer

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia will have a deadline to accept the New York Yankees' contract proposal.

"We've made him an offer. It's not going to be there forever," Hal Steinbrenner said Thursday after he was approved as the team's new controlling owner during a meeting at Major League Baseball headquarters.

New York offered a six-year contract to the pitcher last Friday, the first day teams were allowed to start talking money with free agents. The proposal exceeds Johan Santana's $137.5 million, six-year contract with the New York Mets both in total and average, a baseball official familiar with the negotiations said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge details.

Greg Genske, Sabathia's agent, did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

The Yankees are also interested in pitchers A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe. While the team has discussed parameters of contracts for the pair, it had not made formal offers.

Following the end of its streak of 13 consecutive playoff appearances, New York intends to make a major push for starting pitching. Mike Mussina announced his retirement Thursday, and the team intends to add several starters to a rotation that includes holdovers Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain.

Andy Pettitte has said he wants to return, but the Yankees want him to take a cut from his $16 million salary last season.