CC Sabathia: “I want to be here. I love it here”

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Trick or treat! Yankees ace CC Sabathia announced his new contract extension on Halloween night, first on Twitter and then on a conference call with reporters. The agreement will keep Sabathia in pinstripes at least through 2016, and there is a vesting option for 2017.

It’s a deal that, Sabathia hopes, ensures he will finish his career wearing a Yankees uniform. Here are some of the highlights of last night’s call:

Did you ever think you’d opt out?
“I was confident that we would get to an agreement. I wanted to stay here. I want to be here. I love it here. I love pitching here. I love being a part of the Yankees organization, and I’m just so happy to be able to come to an agreement.”

How much of a motivation was wanting to avoid free agency?
“It was a big motivation. I didn’t want to be a part of being a free agent and doing everything, opting out and doing all that stuff. It was clear to everybody that I wanted to be a Yankee, wanted to end my career as a Yankee, and hopefully I can do that.”

What else do the Yankees need now?
“I don’t know what our biggest need is. We’re a pretty good team. We’ll see what happens. I’m just glad to be a part of the organization and glad of being a part of their plan going forward.”

Did you get a kick out of people predicting you’d opt out?
“I never really bought into it. Our family is comfortable here. We have a good time. We love it here. We relax here. This is our home. I never really bought into what was going on or if we would opt out or if we wouldn’t. This is just, our house. This is our home. We’re here as a family, and we’ll continue to grow here and be a part of the community.”

When did you know you were comfortable in New York?
“I think the whole time. I always felt comfortable here. I always felt like I wanted to be a part of this organization, community, and I feel good being a part of it going forward.”

What do you like about pitching for the Yankees?
“The energy. What you get coming out of the bullpen. The fans, the energy, everything it is to be pitching in New York, in the Bronx. It’s just so much fun, and to be a part of this organization is a dream for me.”

Was weight loss discussed?
“It’s something I’ll do regardless for me and be proactive. It is what it is for me. I just need to go out and be healthy, try to do what I can to be out there for every start. To be there for the team. For me, that means losing weight. So that’s what I’ll do.”

When did you get over the ALDS?
“One day. I’m ready to go. I want to be out there. I want to be out there with my teammates, I want to know who we’ve got, what’s going on and try to win a championship. That’s our ultimate goal every time out. That’s what we try to do. We’ll see what happens. I want to try to win every time out.”

Did your conditioning get worse late in the season?
“I felt great going into the season last year. I got a little lax during the season, but I feel great. My arm feels great, my shoulder, my knee, whatever. I feel good.”

Was the six-man rotation a factor?
“I’m not going to say that. I’m not going to sit here and say that the change in my routine had anything to do with the last month. It is what it is. When it was my time to go and they give me the ball, I go out there and pitch. It is what it is.”

What was most important in the talks?
“My family. My family being good. Everything going from there. I made the decision to come to New York on my family. I have four kids, so making sure everything was comfortable with them. My kids, my son loves it here. All my kids love it here, my wife loves it here – and I do, too. I love pitching for the Yankees fans. It was an easy choice.”

Think you’ll have a shot at 300 wins? 
“You kill me with that. You always know I don’t care about that. Who cares about that? I care about ending my career healthy. You know me.”

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