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Yanks offer Sabathia new deal

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have made a contract offer to ace CC Sabathia, who has until today to decide whether to opt out of the $92 million and four years remaining on his current deal.

The offer was made over the weekend, the person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.

Sabathia agreed to a $161 million, seven-year contract before the 2009 season and has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA during the regular season for New York.

If he opts out, the 31-year-old left-hander would become the top pitcher on the free-agent market.

This year's free agents are headed by Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson and Mark Buehrle.

Milwaukee reliever Francisco Rodriguez also was among the 148 players who became free.

K-Rod's deal was reworked when he was traded from the New York Mets during the All-Star break, changing it to a mutual option from a $17.5 million option that would have become guaranteed had he finished 55 games. Rodriguez, used as a setup man by the Brewers, gets a $4 million buyout, up from the original $3.5 million. According to the reworking of the option, it would only have come into effect if he met the 55 games finished requirement, and he fell 32 short.

In addition, the Brewers declined a $6 million club option on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who gets a $2 million buyout.

Others whose options were declined included Atlanta outfielder Nate McLouth; Colorado right-hander Aaron Cook; and the San Diego trio of right-handers Aaron Harang and Chad Qualls, and outfielder Brad Hawpe.

McLouth receives a $1.25 million buyout rather than a $10.65 million salary for next year under the contract he signed with Pittsburgh before the 2009 season.

Cook had an $11,125,000 player option, but the Rockies then had the chance to decline it and pay a $500,000 buyout.

Harang declined his $5 million player option but does not get a $500,000 buyout because he fell 14 1/3 innings short of the 185 specified in his contract. San Diego declined a $6 million option on Qualls, who gets a $1.05 million buyout.

Hawpe gets a $1 million buyout rather than a $6 million salary after his mutual option was declined by the Padres.

Pitcher Javier Lopez agreed to an $8.5 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants rather than become a free agent. The Giants exercised a $5 million club option on fellow left-hander Jeremy Affeldt rather than pay a $500,000 buyout.

Boston exercised a $6 million option on shortstop Marco Scutaro, who turned 36 Sunday.

Teams and players had until the end of Sunday to decide on the first half of mutual options. Waiting for decisions were Arizona's Henry Blanco, Willie Bloomquist and Zach Duke; the Chicago Cubs' Aramis Ramirez and Colorado's Jason Giambi.

Decisions on club and player options must be made by the end of Monday. Free agents can start signing with teams Thursday.

Late Saturday night, the Yankees announced they have exercised contract options for next season on second baseman Robinson Cano and right fielder Nick Swisher.

The decision on Cano's $14 million option was a mere formality, but there was some thought that the Yankees might consider parting ways with Swisher because of his postseason struggles. The AL East champions chose to pick up his $10.25 million option rather than pay him a $1 million buyout.

A three-time All-Star, Cano signed a four-year, $30 million contract before the 2008 season. The 29-year-old slugger hit .302 with 28 homers and a career-high 118 RBIs this year.

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