After a third straight subpar season, the 35-year-old left-hander left the team on the final day of the regular season and entered treatment the next day for alcoholism.
Sabathia was part of a rotation this year that included Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi. They were joined by Adam Warren early in the season and Ivan Nova when he returned from Tommy John surgery. Later in the year, rookie Luis Severino was added to the rotation and pitched impressively.
As of now, all seven are returning.
''We've got a lot of guys that are going to be vying for those five spots,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday at the annual GMs meetings.
Sabathia was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 starts. When he returned from the disabled list, he used a new knee brace and went 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his final five starts.
''I like what CC did for us down the stretch in September,'' Cashman said. ''Once he got the knee brace perfected, he was a successful pitcher for that short period of time and very effective. So certainly the hope is that he would be a viable member of that rotation. So let's just see how the winter shakes out first. I'm not guaranteeing anybody anything.''
Cashman hopes Sabathia ''found that secret formula that allowed him to get full extension over the rubber to finish off his pitches.''