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Mid-Afternoon Yankees News

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Marc Craig of the Star Ledger discussed multiple issues facing the Yankees this winter, including CC Sabathia's contract status, Brian Cashman's contract status, and the impact of A.J. Burnett's playoff start on his 2012 season.

As most Yankees fans are aware by now, CC Sabathia can exercise an opt-out clause in the 7 year, $161MM deal he signed after the 2008 season. Right now, though, Sabathia insists that he is not focused on the future. Sabathia is owed $92MM over the next four years if he decides not to opt out of his contract.

Here is what the big man had to say about his looming contract decision:

I can’t even wrap my head around that right now. I’m just thinking about what I didn’t do to help us win. Maybe in the next couple days, next couple of weeks, I’ll think about that and see what happens.

CC Sabathia's contract is not the only situation the Yankees are focused on. Brian Cashman's contract expires at the end of the month, but in the aftermath of the series, declined to discuss his upcoming contract negotiations.

He did reiterate one importact aspect, however. He has every intention of returning to the Yankees. Per Cashman:

That has not changed.

I've written about Cashman multiple times this season (Thank You, Brian CashmanBrian Cashman's Grade A Offseason), and if you've read either of those posts, you'd know that I am a Cashman supporter. He is a good general manager and has built up the farm system while keeping the team extremely competitive. 

Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks that A.J. Burnett's performance in Game 4 of the ALDS will have a lasting effect on the righty. From Girardi: 

I think it meant a lot to him. I know it sure meant a lot to us, what he did. He’s got to feel really good about what he was able to go out and do. He shut them down as well as any of our starters have in this series, and there was no wiggle room. We couldn’t lose a game, so he’s got to feel really good. And you hope it helps going forward.

I'd like nothing better than for A.J. to take the success he had in the playoffs and carry it over into the 2012 season.

Thoughts? Will A.J. be able to carry some of this confidence over into next season, or will we need to endure more of the same from Burnett?