CC, Holliday, Pineda don't get qualifying offers

Sabathia lauded as 'vital contributor' as trio hits free agency

CC, Holliday, Pineda don't get qualifying offers

NEW YORK -- The Yankees declined to make qualifying offers to designated hitter Matt Holliday, right-hander Michael Pineda and left-hander CC Sabathia on Monday, and the trio hit the open market with free agency officially under way.

The amount of the qualifying offer is the mean salary of the league's 125 highest-paid players and is valued at $17.4 million this year, making it an easy call for general manager Brian Cashman to permit all three players to proceed without compensation attached.

MLB qualifying offers rules, explained

Third baseman Todd Frazier and left-hander Jaime Garcia, the Yankees' other free agents, were not eligible to receive a qualifying offer because they were traded during the course of the season. Frazier and Sabathia have both expressed their desire to return to New York.

"Obviously, a lot of people are going to speculate what's going to happen as far as CC and his return. He's been a vital contributor here for years," Cashman said on Monday. "Todd Frazier had a great deal of impact on our run, and as deep as we went into the playoffs with his ability to provide the defense and the power and the plate discipline and the personality was a benefit to our clubhouse as well."

Hot Stove Tracker

Holliday batted .231 with 19 homers and 64 RBIs in 105 games after signing a one-year, $13 million contract. Pineda is expected to miss the entire 2018 season following Tommy John surgery, while Sabathia was 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA. Sabathia earned $25 million this past season.

"Is there a lot of heavy lifting [in free agency] that's necessary? No," Cashman said. "I'd say on the outset there's not some obvious lanes that we have to go fill but we're always trying to be better and improve. We got to Game 7 of the ALCS and we'd like to see if we can go even farther while also recognizing how difficult that process is."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.