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12/18/2008 2:32 PM ET
New York Yankees sign left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia
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The New York Yankees announced today they have signed left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia to a seven-year contract.

Sabathia, 28, was 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA in 35 overall starts with Cleveland and Milwaukee in 2008, leading the Majors in innings pitched (253.0IP), complete games (10) and shutouts (5), while finishing second in strikeouts (251), fourth in ERA and eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.25K/BB). His 10 complete games marked the first time a Major League pitcher has reached double digits in that category this decade (since Randy Johnson had 12 in 1999). In his final 31 starts of the season, he went 17-7 with a 1.88 ERA after beginning the year 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA (18.0IP, 27ER) in his first four starts.

Sabathia is a three-time American League All-Star (2003-04, '07) and won the 2007 AL Cy Young Award with Cleveland, going 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA in 34 starts. In each of the last four seasons (2005-08), his strikeout totals have increased while his ERA has decreased (2004- 139K, 4.12 ERA / 2005- 161, 4.03 / 2006- 172, 3.22 / 2007- 209, 3.21 / 2008- 251, 2.70). With a 117-73 career record, his .616 winning percentage is the 11th-highest among lefthanders with as many or more decisions (190) since the beginning of Baseball's modern era in 1901.

No active Major Leaguer Sabathia's age or younger has as many career wins (117) or strikeouts (1,393). On September 28, 2007, at 27 years, 69 days old, he became the youngest pitcher since Greg Maddux in 1993 to win his 100th career Major League game. Sabathia has won at least 11 games in each of his eight Major League seasons, trailing only Tim Hudson (10 consecutive years) for the longest active streak to start a career.

Over the last two seasons, Sabathia has posted a 36-17 (.679) record with a 2.95 ERA while leading the Majors with 460 strikeouts. His win total is second only to Brandon Webb's 40 and his ERA is the third-lowest among pitchers who have tossed 200.0 or more innings. With 14 complete games the last two seasons, he is one of just two pitchers (also Roy Halladay-16) with more than seven over the stretch.

Sabathia began the 2008 season with Cleveland, where he went 6-8 with a 3.83 ERA before being traded on July 7 to Milwaukee in exchange for OF Matt LaPorta, LHP Zach Jackson, RHP Rob Bryson and a player to be named later (OF Michael Brantley).

Despite making just 17 starts with the Brewers, Sabathia finished fifth in National League "Cy Young" Award voting and sixth in NL MVP voting after posting an 11-2 record with a 1.65 ERA, striking out 128 batters and walking just 25. He set a career-high with a 12-game winning streak (over 16 starts) between June 10 and August 31.

Originally selected by Cleveland in the first round (20th pick) of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, Sabathia finished second behind Ichiro Suzuki for the 2001 AL "Rookie of the Year" Award after posting a 17-5 record with a 4.39 ERA as the AL's youngest player. Since the start of his big league career in 2001, Sabathia ranks third in complete games (26), fourth in strikeouts (1,393), fifth in wins (117) and eighth in innings pitched (1659.1) among all Major League pitchers. He trails only Mark Buehrle (118) in wins by a left-hander over the span.

Sabathia-a born-and-raised resident of Vallejo, Calif.-has always been involved in community activities, including starting his "PitCCh In" foundation in 2008, which advocates for the care and needs of children and offers support, comfort, encouragement, education, recreational activities and hope to youngsters. He also participates in Major League Baseball's "RBI" Program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), Strikeouts for Troops and the Continentals of Omega Boys & Girls Club of Vallejo, Calif.
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