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Sabathia deflects questions on future

Sabathia deflects questions on future

TAMPA, Fla. -- C.C. Sabathia stepped to the mound at Legends Field for the final time as a member of the Indians on Sunday.

With the Tribe moving its Spring Training operations to Arizona next year, the spring home of the Yankees is one of many ballparks the club can soon put in its past.

The question that looms is whether Sabathia will someday soon be suiting up in this ballpark for another club -- namely, that one that wears pinstripes.

Linking Sabathia to the Yankees, after all, isn't that far-fetched, considering he'll be a free agent after the '08 season and they've got deeper pockets than anybody in baseball. So forgive the New York media for essentially asking Sabathia after this outing if New York might be in his future.

The response was about what you would expect.

"I'm focused on this year right now," said Sabathia, who has already vowed not to discuss his contract status this season. "I'm playing in Cleveland and [trying] to win."

Does Sabathia like New York?

"It's all right," he said.

Still, he'd prefer to remain with the Indians, right? That has, after all, been his public stance throughout this contract saga.

"In a perfect world, of course," said Sabathia, who allowed three runs on five hits, walking three and striking out three in four innings against the Yanks. "I've been here since I was 17."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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