Sabathia to get $9.5 million from Yankees before season opener

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia will receive $9.5 million from the New York Yankees before he throws his first official pitch in pinstripes.

His $161 million, seven-year contract includes a $9 million signing bonus. By the time the Yankees open at Baltimore on April 6, he already will have received $6 million of that bonus plus $3.5 million of next year's salary.

This is how it works:

• The signing bonus is payable in three equal installments by Dec. 31; March 1, 2009; and July 31, 2009.

• He will get a $14 million salary in 2009 and $23 million in each of the final six seasons of the deal, the largest contract ever for a pitcher both in total dollars and average salary.

• While most players are paid semi-monthly during the six months of the regular season, Sabathia's salary will be paid in semi-monthly installments over all 12 months of the year. That means he will have received six payments of $583,333 before the opener.

Even Sabathia admitted this week that "with the economy being the way it is ... the huge amount of money, it was, you know, pretty crazy."

"But that's our game, I guess," he said.

Sabathia's deal calls for him to get a suite on road trips, a provision also in the contracts of several other major leaguers. He can void the contract after the 2011 season and file for free agency.

New York finalized Sabathia's contract on Thursday along with pitcher A.J. Burnett's $82.5 million, six-year agreement. Burnett receives annual salaries of $16.5 million and, like Sabathia, has a no-trade provision.

With the agreements, New York has committed about $159 million to 14 players for next year. That includes pitcher Andrew Brackman and infielder Juan Miranda, who don't figure to be on the major league roster.

New York still hopes to re-sign Andy Pettitte and has several players eligible for salary arbitration: pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Brian Bruney, and outfielders Melky Cabrera and Xavier Nady.