TAMPA, Fla. — Joe Girardi isn’t the only one in his walk year in pinstripes figuring on working next year.
CC Sabathia, with the Yankees since 2009, is entering the final year of his contract and plans to pitch somewhere in 2018.
“If I’m healthy and I’m able-bodied to play, I’m going to play as long as I can,” Sabathia said Tuesday.
It is far too early to determine whether that will be with the Yankees, though they’ll surely be interested if Sabathia, 36, produces like he did last year. The lefthander went 9-12 with a 3.91 ERA, his lowest ERA since 2012.
Sabathia finished the season strong, going 2-2 with a 2.37 ERA in his last eight starts.
He spoke glowingly of the franchise’s recent shift toward youth.
“It’s exciting for sure,” Sabathia said. “We have some good, young talent in here. It wouldn’t be that exciting if the guys weren’t good players, but the guys are good players. It’s a lot of fun to see what these guys will be able to do.”
Betances’ arrival delayed
Dellin Betances will not report to camp until the conclusion of his arbitration hearing, likely later this week. In late January Betances filed at $5 million while the Yankees filed at $3 million.
A-Rod still expected
Alex Rodriguez was listed among those who will serve as guest instructors for camp, though no dates have been set. Also listed: Nick Swisher, Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Goose Gossage, Hideki Matsui, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill and Willie Randolph.
Tanaka, for openers
As expected, Girardi tabbed Masahiro Tanaka as his Opening Day starter April 2 in St. Petersburg against the Rays. Barring injury, that will mark Tanaka’s third straight Opening Day start.
The major renovations at Steinbrenner Field — a project of about $40 million that includes significant work on the club’s minor-league complex down the street, which is almost complete — began later than the intended start in June, as was originally planned, because of delays in getting approval by several local boards. Major work is still being done both outside and inside the stadium, and it is unlikely to be completed by the Feb. 24 spring training home opener. Fans are scheduled to be allowed in starting Wednesday for the first workout of pitchers and catchers.