LOS ANGELES — A few years ago, CC Sabathia had an opportunity to opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees, and the two sides haggled right down to the deadline because the decision was complicated for both sides.
Sabathia had found that he loved playing in New York and didn't necessarily want to leave, but he had some leverage because he had pitched well in his first years with the Yankees, winning 59 games in three seasons. And on the Yankees' side, there was a lot of risk — Sabathia had just turned 31 years old, and there had been fears among his employers about his weight, particularly about how it might affect his knee. In the end, the two sides negotiated what amounted to what probably will turn out to be a one-year extension, with some language built in to account for some shoulder damage that Sabathia had sustained.
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the Yankees would've been better off letting Sabathia walk away, because injuries and age have diminished the left-hander's effectiveness.
Which brings us to Zack Greinke and the Dodgers, because Greinke is in the third year of his six-year, $147 million contract, and in the fall, he can opt out of his contract. Increasingly, this seems like a legitimate possibility, because Greinke's performance continues to be excellent. On Sunday night, Greinke pitched well against the the Cardinals for 6 2/3 innings, making his season ERA 1.92.