Sabathia's contract extension - 1-year, $25 m. for 2016, and a $5 million buyout. Total guaranteed, five years, $122 m.. $25m option '17
What this means, basically, is that the four years and $92 million remaining on Sabathia's previous deal -- which he was expected to opt out of today -- is now irrelevant, as he'll now make $122 million guaranteed from 2012-16, and potentially as much as $142 million from 2012-17, depending on whether his 2017 vesting option kicks in.
There had been some buzz a couple of weeks back (which was largely ignored in the excitement of the Rangers' post-season run) about Texas reportedly planning an attempt at moneywhipping Sabathia if he hit the open market, but that buzz was quickly refuted by other sources, and what we're left with is the outcome that was expected all along -- that is, Sabathia returning to the Yankees as an even wealthier man than he was before.
The best free-agent starting pitching options left are now C.J. Wilson, Hiroki Kuroda, Roy Oswalt, Edwin Jackson, and Mark Buehrle ... and for the more daring, well-capitalized teams, there's also Yu Darvish dangling out there.