The 2017 season ended not with a bang, but with a whimper for the New York Yankees. They scored one run total in the final two games of the ALCS and lost Game 7 to the Houston Astros on Saturday night. The Astros are heading to the World Series and the Yankees are heading home.

Stalwart left-hander CC Sabathia started Game 7 for the Yankees and did not pitch well. One run in 3 1/3 innings isn't awful, but it's not good either. Sabathia wiggled out of some jams and ultimately allowed five hits and three walks in those 3 1/3 innings. He struck out zero and nearly threw as many balls (29) as strikes (35).

This offseason Sabathia will be a free agent for the second time, and following Game 7, he made it crystal clear he wants to return to New York.

"This is my home. I want to see this thing through," Sabathia said. "I want to come back here and finish things off. This is where I want to be."

On one hand, Sabathia is 37 years old with a degenerative knee condition, and on his best days he might give you six innings. There are reasons for the Yankees to thank him for his nine years and part ways. On the other hand, teams always need pitching, and Sabathia is a leader in the clubhouse. His value goes beyond what he does on the mound.

"He's as good as I've ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you're on a losing streak or that you can count on," said Joe Girardi following Game 7. "Our players can learn a lot from CC. The kind of fighter that he is. The things that he has to overcome to be successful."

As things stand, the Yankees know they'll have Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery in their 2018 rotation. Masahiro Tanaka seems likely to exercise his opt-out clause, and while that doesn't automatically mean he won't return, it's hard to count on that right now. The Yankees are trying to get under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 and Tanaka may not fit.