"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.
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.