Yankees, Sabathia reportedly close to deal

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LAS VEGAS — C.C. Sabathia and the New York Yankees were closing in Wednesday on a seven-year contract worth about $160 million, a deal that would be a record for a pitcher.

The Yankees and the pitcher’s agents had not yet reached a letter of agreement, a baseball official familiar with the talks said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because a deal had not yet been finalized. The official said the Yankees were confident an agreement would soon be reached.

While some teams would consider an agreement on the total value a preliminary deal, the Yankees are notorious sticklers for wanting contract guarantee language finalized before admitting an agreement is in place. Any agreement would be subject to the 28-year-old left-hander passing a physical.

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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman left the winter meetings Tuesday and traveled to the San Francisco area to meet with the pitcher and his wife.

Sabathia’s deal will top the previous mark for a pitcher, a $137.5 million, six-year contract agreed to by Johan Santana and the New York Mets last winter.