LAS VEGAS -- The Brewers' initial offer to free agent CC Sabathia was sweeter than previously reported, a club source said Wednesday.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed that the Brewers' Nov. 1 offer to Sabathia guaranteed just more than $100 million over five years, but another club source revealed that it also included some unique clauses to maximize Sabathia's post-tax paycheck, plus two club options that could have pushed it to a seven-year contract.
"This wasn't just eyewash for the fans," the source said. The Brewers were poised to guarantee the sixth season in their offer but never got the chance. Sabathia agreed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to a seven-year contract with the Yankees, pending a physical, that reportedly will pay $161 million. It will make him the richest pitcher in baseball history. Before New York increased its offer from six years and $140 million, Milwaukee officials were hoping to pitch Sabathia on a number of tax advantages to playing in Wisconsin versus New York. With those factors, post-tax difference in average annual value between the two offers would have been in the neighborhood of $1.5 million, according to the source. The Yankees stepped up their offer before other clubs could jump into the bidding. As of Wednesday night, Brewers officials were not aware of Sabathia receiving any concrete offers outside of Milwaukee and New York.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.