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MLB Trade Rumors: Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Brandon Belt and Other Offseason Thoughts

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After hearing that Andy Pettitte was retiring, I immediately called my brother, a HUGE Yankee fan, to see if he had heard the news. He had not. Needless to say the conversation was short, and his anger and disbelief in the news was evident.

So it sounds like many Yankee fans had the same reaction yesterday. After reading others reactions to his retirement, I got to thinking about not who the Yankees will trade for to replace Pettitte in their decimated starting rotation, but my thoughts turned to CC Sabathia. Sabathia has an opt-out clause in his contract which he can exercise at the end of the 2011 season.

More after the jump:

Looking at the list of free agent pitchers over at MLB Trade Rumors, the biggest name on the list, not named Sabathia is Roy Oswalt and 37 year old Chris Carpenter. Sabathia, after this season, will have 4 years and $92 million left on his contract. Sabathia will be 31 years old this year, and after seeing the 5 year $125 million contract that 32 year old Cliff Lee received from the Phillies, he would be nuts not to opt out of his contract at the end of the year.

Here is another reason why Sabathia may opt out-the Yankees are an old team. Look around the infield: Mark Teixeira will be 32 in 2012, Robinson Cano will be 30, Derek Jeter will be 38, Alex Rodriguez will be 37, and Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson are both over 30 as well. Jeter and ARod are on the downside of their careers, and there are some who think Teixeira may not be any better than what he showed in 2010. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Yankees could be a 3rd place team in 2011.

The Braves are leaning toward making Craig Kimbrel their closer according to David O'Brien from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Here is what O'Brien said in his article:

Much of the bullpen’s success could ride with the performance of Kimbrel, 22. The Hunstville, Ala., native will likely be the closer, though Venters and others could help some with those duties.

Spring training will be the tell, but it appears that Kimbrel will have the upperhand in the Braves closer battle.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy stated that top prospect Brandon Belt could make the team out of spring training. I have a feeling he is just saying that to get the veterans on the team to report to spring training on time and in shape. But, I do see Belt up in June this year.

Speaking of Belt, John Sickels has a Prospect Smackdown comparing Belt and Braves rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman. Head over to Minor League Ball to check out the article.