After nine seasons in New York, CC Sabathia could soon be unattached. The 37-year-old former Yankees ace is due to complete the massive deal he signed in December 2008 and later extended, setting the stage for him to finally hit free agency again. After a resurgent 2017 season, whe he went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA, 122 ERA+ and 2.8 WAR, he should have at least a few prospective suitors. A lot hinges on Sabathia’s next deal. Among the possible concerns could be Sabathia’s lingering -- though surprisingly difficult to extinguish — Hall of Fame chances. Sabathia’s had a meandering road toward Cooperstown. As recently as perhaps 2013, he looked like he maybe had the best chance of any current pitcher to reach 300 wins. He offered remarkable consistency and an ability to chew innings, averaging 213 over his first 13 seasons while he made six All-Star teams and won the 2007 American League Cy Young Award. Then came three dreadful years during which Sabathia went 18-26 with a 4.42 ERA, missing the 2015 postseason so he could check into alcohol rehab. He looked a little better in the last of those three years, 2016, when his 9-12 record seemed worse than it was, with Sabatha offering a 110 ERA+ and 3 WAR. Still, even just in August, Sabathia told reporters he’d considered retirement after a spate of arm trouble. Sabathia still has a chance at the Hall of Fame. But it remains far from a sure thing. Cooperstown chances: 30 percent Why: At the beginning of this season, in assessing the most likely Hall of Famer on each team, I gave Sabathia 15 percent odds of eventually making Cooperstown. Sabathia’s maybe doubled his chances with a season good enough to get him a new deal — if not for the Bombers then at least for some halfway decent team. That said, baseball history suggests Sabathia still faces long odds of nabbing a Hall of Fame plaque. Sabathia is 237-146 with a 3.70 ERA, 60.7 Wins Above Replacement and 29.6 Wins Above Average through his age-36 season. These numbers likely leave Sabathia short of Cooperstown at this point. It’s unclear how much he can add to them. With his ERA, Sabathia will benefit with Hall of Fame voters the closer he gets to 300 wins.
CC Sabathia could still make the Hall of Fame, but he's probably a long shot
Sporting News | Oct 6