Five executives who know Sabathia were asked whether they believe he will follow his heart or the money, and there's a split about how heavily he'll lean toward signing with a California team. Two executives opined that he's surely bound for California ("he isn't a New York guy,'' said one) and would be shocked to see him go to the Yankees or any other big-market East Coat team. But three others said some version of "money talks.''I take no issue with the analysis as such inasmuch as it is the standard, reasonable way people tend to assess these things. He's from Cali, he wants to stay in Cali. What's up with the hometown discount, etc.? There's really not much more you can do with it absent some kind of inside information from Sabathia or his people regarding his specific intentions.
A couple of those executives who think he'll follow the money do tab the Yankees, who have a whopping $88 million in contracts coming off the books, as the favorite to sign the Vallejo, Calif. product. The word from those three executives is that while Sabathia does indeed prefer California, he won't give the California teams a discount.
I guess what vexes me most about the analysis is the decision in the first place to contact "five executives who know Sabathia" to obtain it. Am I crazy, or aren't "executives" precluded from talking about players under contract? Sure they're anonymous here, but it can't be that hard to figure out who the people were given that CC has spent all but a couple of weeks of his career with the Indians. Can't we assume that one of those executives is Shapiro? Maybe another is Melvin? Maybe Neal Huntington is one? Who else would "know him well,"and aren't all of them except for Melvin breaking some tampering rule?
I don't know that I care about that too much -- tampering rules that involve merely talking about a player in general terms seem pretty antiquated and silly to me -- but it does seem that this is the sort of thing GMs aren't supposed to be doing.