That was the surprising Day 1 story of camp, CC Sabathia not shutting the door on the possibility of him opting out of his seven-year contract after this season, which is Year 3 of the deal.
"Anything is possible," he said.
General manager Brian Cashman, speaking early Monday afternoon, said he included the opt-out as an extra incentive to get Sabathia to pick the Yankees as a free agent in 2008. At the time Cashman thought the Angels might make a late monetary push to get Sabathia, a California native whom the Yankees thought wanted to play close to home, and threw in the opt-out.
Cashman said of his thought process at the time: “I did everything in my power to get him off the board.”
In 2007 Cashman was firm in saying he would not negotiate with A-Rod should he opt out. He, of course, was overruled by Hank Steinbrenner
Asked if he was ready to take a similar stance regarding Sabathia, Cashman smiled and shook his head.
“You live and you learn,” Cashman said to laughter. “I’ve learned a lot.”
Cashman said it was highly unlikely the Yankees would look to do any kind of an extension of Sabathia's deal during the season.
"We've had a policy in place for quite some time regarding extensions and stuff like that when you’re in the middle of multi year deals," Cashman said. "I always leave that little window open that could always change, but I don’t anticipate it changing because that policy’s been in place for quite some time."