CC Sabathia would address Blue Jays’ pitching needs

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27: CC Sabathia
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27: CC Sabathia /

The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to address their pitching situation by meeting with CC Sabathia at the MLB Winter Meetings.

The Toronto Blue Jays have constantly been in the rumour mill over the course of the MLB Winter Meetings, most of it surrounding the infield and outfield.

The week has been dominated by the New York Yankees acquisition of 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton and the slew of questions surrounding corresponding moves that their AL East rivals will make in response to the blockbuster deal.

While there was a report that the Blue Jays and Cardinals met regarding Josh Donaldson once again, there was no significant progress made on that front.

However, news broke late Tuesday night that the Jays brass met with a former Yankee pitcher at the Winter Meetings.

While Sabathia hasn’t previously been mentioned as a possibility for the Jays, it’s no secret that the team has been looking to add a bottom of the rotation starter during the offseason, among other things.

Sabathia has spent his last nine seasons with the Yankees after signing in New York prior to the 2009 season. He previously played his entire career with the Cleveland Indians, with a brief stop in Milwaukee in 2008.

The now 36-year-old is a six-time All-Star, who also won the AL Cy Young Award in 2007 and the ALCS MVP in 2009.

Over the previous few seasons, Sabathia had been going through a lull in play, with some suggesting that he was past his prime. However, the 2016 season did offer some positives for the long-time ace. He registered a 3.91 ERA, 152 strikeouts, and a 1.31 WHIP over 179.2 IP.

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Last season, Sabathia started 27 games for the Yankees and had his best statistical season since 2013. He had a 14-5 record while posting a 3.69 ERA, with 120 strikeouts, and a 1.27 WHIP in 148.2 IP. It was also the first time Sabathia registered over 10 wins since 2013.

Now, where would Sabathia fit into the Jays plans for the 2018 season? It looks as though Toronto has their top four starters set for next season, assuming that Aaron Sanchez’s blister problem has been resolved.

Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins talked about how vital it is to add pitching this week, while Manager John Gibbons talked about the possibility of adding Sabathia to the Jays.

"“Free agency (for) starting pitching is a tough place to be. To me it just comes down to durability. That is a secret weapon in baseball. If you can help starting pitchers stay healthy or identify and develop starting pitchers that will haul 200 innings year-in and year-out, that’s a competitive advantage.”"

"“I love him. I’ve always liked him. He’s coming off a big year,” Gibbons said. “He’s a workhorse, man. He’s always pitched well against us. One of the great competitors in the game for a number of years. I thought he looked strong last year.”"

The Jays were reportedly after Tyler Chatwood in free agency before he signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Adding Sabathia would offer veteran leadership along with experience pitching in the AL East, which could help more than bringing in someone from another division. The southpaw would also bring some balance to the Jays righty-heavy rotation. Plus, he won’t command anywhere close to the $25 million the Yankees had been paying him over the course of his contract.

If he can repeat his success from the last two seasons, he would be worth a good look from the Jays.

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What do you think of the Jays meeting with Sabathia? Which moves would you most like to see from the team this offseason? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts.