In the quiet of the Yankees’ clubhouse after their loss to the Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, free-agent-to-be CC Sabathia said: “This is where I want to play.”
But after what he described as the club’s “shocking” decision to not bring back Joe Girardi as manager, Sabathia said he understands that if he decides to continue playing, it very well might have to be somewhere else.
“If my run is up here, like Joe, I had a great time,” Sabathia said during a Players’ Tribune podcast. “I was here for nine years with some of the best players on the planet, won a World Series, greatest fans ever. I was a Yankee. I can say that. But no, I’m good with it. It’s weird. I’m good with baseball however it shakes out. If I’m done next year, if I’m done the year after. It is what it is. This is all borrowed time for me. This is extra. I’m just having fun.”
After going 18-26 with a 4.42 ERA in the previous three seasons and battling an issue with his right knee, Sabathia, 37, turned back the clock to how he spent much of his career: as a rotation stalwart. He went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA, his lowest ERA since 2012, when it was 3.38.
Sabathia said that regardless of what has leaked out regarding Girardi being too intense and not the best fit for young players, he never had any issues.
“I feel like me and Joe was always good because he was always concerned about my family, and that’s the biggest thing for me,” he said. “He’s always asking about ‘Little C’ and my wife, and I always loved him for that. It felt good that he took an interest in my family.”
What should the Yankees look for in their next manager?
“Somebody that’s a good communicator with the players,” Sabathia said. “Somebody that you can talk to about anything at any time — especially with these young guys. Somebody that these guys can really talk to and trust.”
Reese replaces Denbo. The Yankees officially announced Kevin Reese as their new senior director of player development. He takes over the position previously occupied by Gary Denbo. Denbo, who oversaw the Yankees’ highly regarded farm system before leaving to join the Marlins and Derek Jeter, had been the Yankees’ director of professional scouting since 2016.