Dodgers: CC Sabathia had bags packed for LA before signing with Yankees

CC Sabathia against the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
CC Sabathia against the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

Former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia discussed his eagerness to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was a free agent in 2008.

All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia wanted to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was a free agent in 2008, but the Dodgers didn’t have enough money to sign him.

Sabathia explained his desire to play for the Boys in Blue on a recent podcast interview.

"“I go to the Winter Meeting and meet with Ned Colletti, and he’s like, ‘We don’t have enough money to sign you,'” Sabathia said on the BLEAV in Dodgers podcast with Brett Tomko and Josh Luke. “Because the Yankees had already offered me that deal. So he was like, ‘We really don’t have enough to sign you.'”"

As a California product, Sabathia had his mind set on playing for the historic franchise in Los Angeles.

"“That offseason I’m thinking I’m going to the Dodgers,” Sabathia said. “I’m a free agent, I’m a Cali guy. They always have a bunch of money. It’s an historic place to play. So I’m looking at places in LA. Like, I’m already locked in on living in LA.”"

Sabathia’s interest in signing with the Dodgers was no secret at the time. During the Winter Meetings, he informed general manager Ned Colletti of his hopes to play at Chavez Ravine.

"“It’s a possibility,” Colletti said at the time about potentially inking Sabathia. “It’s an interesting dynamic with anybody who is long term at a salary that’s higher than most. When you’re talking about a player who is long term, it’s going to change the dynamic of your team in some way.”"

Two days after telling Colletti he wanted to be a Dodger, once the team showed no interest in making a financial commitment to sign him, Sabathia signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees.

Colletti recently revealed that he tried to acquire Sabathia at the trade deadline in the season leading up to the 2008 free agency period. A deal with the Indians had been negotiated and was close to happening, but owner Frank McCourt vetoed it.

The burly, left-hander ended up pitching to an 11-2 record after he was subsequently traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. While the Dodgers added star slugger Manny Ramirez and made a playoff run that season, Colletti still regrets not being able to add Sabathia.

Upon signing with the Yankees, the six-time All Star lead the Bronx Bombers to a World Series championship in 2009, winning the American League Championship Series MVP Award. He pitched 11 seasons for the Yankees, posting an impressive 134-88 record over a 3.81 ERA.

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The left-hander retired from baseball after the 2019 season, and he has been making headlines for his incredible weight loss and workout results.