NEW YORK — As the Yankees absorb their early exit from the postseason after a 3-2 loss to Detroit in Game 5 late Thursday, the team's first order of offseason business will certainly be the rotation, one that could be missing ace CC Sabathia.
He can opt out of his seven-year, $161 million contract by the third day after the end of the World Series.
Sabathia was noncommittal in a somber clubhouse late Thursday.
"I haven't made any decisions," he said. "I love it here. There's nothing like pitching in pinstripes. There's nothing like pitching in front of the fans in the Bronx. I've had a great experience."
And team brass began talking about the future.
"I assure you that this disappointment will strengthen our resolve to field a team in 2012 that can bring a 28th championship to the Bronx. That work starts now," co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement.
Rays radio host exits: Pre- and postgame radio host Rich Herrera has resigned to pursue other opportunities in sports broadcasting. Herrera had been with the Rays for seven seasons, also serving as director of radio operations. His on-air role was diminished during the season. Play-by-play broadcasters Andy Freed and Dave Wills are under contract and will return.
Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.
ALCS: Rangers vs. Tigers
Tonight, 8:05: Tigers (Verlander, 24-5, 2.40) at Rangers (Wilson, 16-7, 2.94) Sunday, 7:45: Tigers (Scherzer, 15-9, 4.43) at Rangers (Holland, 16-5, 3.95) Tuesday, 8:05: Rangers (Lewis, 14-10, 4.40) at Tigers (Fister, 11-13, 2.83) Wednesday, 4:19: Rangers (Harrison, 14-9, 3.39) at Tigers (Porcello, 14-9, 4.75) Thursday, 4:19: Rangers (TBA) at Tigers (TBA) * Oct. 15, 8:05: Tigers (TBA) at Rangers (TBA) * Oct. 16, 8:05: Tigers (TBA) at Rangers (TBA) *
* If necessary; all games on Ch. 13
Season series: Tigers won 6-3.
Players to watch: Rangers reliever-turned-starter Alexi Ogando, who was the starter and winner for all three victories against Detroit, will remain in the bullpen for the ALCS, as he was against the Rays for three scoreless appearances. … Rangers OF Josh Hamilton hit .298 with 25 homers — fifth on the team — and 94 RBIs. … Offensively, Detroit counters 1B Miguel Cabrera, who hit an AL-leading .344, with 30 homers and 105 RBIs. … Tigers closer Jose Valverde has 48 saves in 48 chances.