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OC Register: Angels Offseason Options: CC Sabathia

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(This is the latest in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. They are purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)

CC SABATHIA, LHP, New York Yankees

The basics: Sabathia had gone from being one of the best pitchers in the game to little more than an innings-eater a few years ago, but he’s enjoyed a revival that has made him once again better than average, even heading into his age 38 season.

2018 season: Sabathia posted a 3.65 ERA in 153 innings over 29 starts. It was his third straight season starting at least 27 games with an ERA under 4.00.

Contract stats: Sabathia is a free agent. Considering his age, he probably won’t be getting anything other than one-year offers, perhaps some with an option. He signed a one-year, $10 million deal to come back to the Yankees last winter.

Why he makes sense: The Angels need durable pitching and, despite Sabathia’s age, he’s been just that recently. He’s started 115 games over the past four seasons. Over that same span, Matt Shoemaker has started the most games for the Angels: 72. Sabathia looks even better when considering he’s pitched in a hitter-hitter-friendly ballpark in a hitter-hitter-friendly division. His adjusted-ERA last season was 120, meaning he was 20 percent better than the average pitcher. Sabathia also could be a convenient one-year replacement for Shohei Ohtani, who is expected back in the rotation after Tommy Jon surgery in 2020. Finally, there is the Yankee connection. Billy Eppler was part of the Yankees’ front office throughout most of Sabathia’s time there. Sabathia also grew up in the Bay Area, so perhaps he’d like to pitch for a California team for the first time in his career.

Why he doesn’t: Despite his recent success, Sabathia is still going to be 38 years old, which makes him risky. Over the last 10 years, only 11 pitchers have made 20 starts at age 38 or older. Sabathia had a strong tenure with the Yankees, and last year he was a free agent before going back. Perhaps he’d just like to stay there.

Previous players: C J.T. RealmutoRHP Nate EovaldiRHP Sonny Gray, LHP Patrick Corbin

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