CC Sabathia officially announced Saturday what was known for a while (since he signed his 2019 contract)—that 2019 will be his last season. CC turns 39 in July.
Here are the highlights of his career so far:
246 wins. Needs 4 for 250, 10 to tie Andy Pettitte on the all-time list.
2986 strikeouts. Needs 14 for 3000.
Cleveland 2001-2008, Milwaukee 2008, Yankees 2009-2019. If a Hall of Famer, it may be difficult to distinguish between Cleveland and the Yankees for the cap for the Hall of Fame Plaque (much like Mussina couldn’t decide between Baltimore and the Yankees).
6X All-Star. 2009 ALCS MVP. Won 1 WS (2009 Yankees). 2nd in ROY in 2001. Twice led the majors in wins (2009 and 2010). 21 game winner in 2010.
Led league in starts 2x, CG once, shutouts once. IP once. 2007 CYA winner.
Got MVP consideration 5x, finishing 6th in 2008. In 2008 he led the majors in GS, CG and IP (didn’t lead league because he split time between the AL and NL). CYA consideration 5X.
15 or more wins in a season 8X.
162 game average 16-10, 3.70, ERA+ 117.
10-7, 4.31 in the postseason.
.212-3-15 as a hitter.
With the Yankees, he’s had three careers.
The first of staff ace, 2009-2012, when he averaged 18-7, 3.22 in those four years.
The second of struggling, aging pitcher who appeared finished. From 2013-2015, he went 23-27, 4.81. An average of 8-9, 4.81 per season. He missed most of 2014.
He kicked alcohol addiction and reinvented himself from 2016-2018 to be a serviceable backend-of-the-rotation pitcher, going 32-24, 3.76 over the past three seasons. If he can maintain that average and go 11-8, 3.76 in 2019 as the #5 starter, I think we’ll take it.
Hall-of-Fame? We’ll see. Some votes have me confused.
CC 16-10, 3.70 162 game average. ERA+ 117. 10-7, 4.31 postseason. 1 CYA, 5x MVP consideration.
Black ink 22/40 (2nd # average HOF); Gray ink 174/185; HOF standards 113/100, HOF monitor 46/50. He is ranked 71st in JAWS for Starting pitcher, and his WAR numbers are about 80% of the average Hall-of Famer. WAR numbers: 62.7/39.4/51 (HOF are 73.4/50/61.7 average). With 10 wins he matches Pettitte’s 256.
Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, averaged 17-10, 3.85, ERA+ 117. 19-11, 3.81 postseason. 5x WS Champ as opposed to CC’s once. Never won the CYA, finished 2nd once, considered for it 5x, same as CC. 3rd in ROY 1995. MVP consideration 2x (CC was 5). Pettitte won 20 games in a season twice (CC once). 8x 15 or more wins in a season (same as CC). But black ink 7/40; Gray ink 103/185 (both less than CC). HOF standards 128/100 (better); HOF monitor 44/50. JAWS 90th. War numbers 60.2/34.1/47.2.
Andy is slightly below CC, but Andy only got 9.9% of the vote this year from the writers. The HGH usage hurt him. There is no HGH hints with CC, but if Andy got only 9.9% of the vote, how is CC THAT much better than Andy where CC gets the 75% or more to get in (he won’t be eligible until 2025).
This isn’t a knock on CC’s HOF credentials, but a puzzlement on Andy only getting 9.9%. Andy wasn’t a strikeout pitcher (didn’t get 2500 K, while CC is almost at 3000) but to me, there isn’t THAT much difference between the two ….
But then, you wonder …. CC at 246 wins … HOF or not? Andy 256 has a long way to go to get 75% of the writer’s vote. Mike Mussina with 270 wins finally got in on his sixth year on the ballot.
We’ll forget about Clemens and his 354 wins (Steroid allegations), but just note two others not in the Hall: Jim Kaat (283 wins) and Tommy John (288). In the cases of Kaat and John, maybe they hung on too long. Both pitched into their 40s and maybe that is what people remember the most—them hanging on possibly a bit too long. As for John, only two pitchers (Clemens with the steroid issue and Bobby Mathews, a pitcher from the 1870s and 1880s) have more wins but are not in the Hall. Only one more (Tony Mullane 1880s and 1890s) isn’t in the Hall before you get to Kaat.
Those pre-1900 pitchers are a far different breed and ballgame.
But still, I’m scratching my head over who is HOF material and who isn’t from those guys I listed. It’s a fine line between them getting in or not.