Pettitte will pitch for the Yankees, or he’ll not pitch at all

Coaching staff all but in place
The King would like to return

If he’s going to toss a much-needed 200 innings next year, it’s going to be in the Bronx:

“The New York Yankees committed an awful lot of money to me and put it in my hands, gave me a player option and trusted me with that option,” Pettitte said in a story posted on Houston television station KRIV’s Web site. “It probably wouldn’t be real honorable for me not to do anything other than if I shut it down, shut it down or go back and play for the New York Yankees.”

Pettitte said he won’t let the managerial changes for the Yankees figure into his decision.

Sounds like good news all around. It would be tough to see him retiring going into his age 36 season, especially given his effectiveness last year. I’ve read reports that he has another week to decide on his option, though I can’t confirm that.

Honestly, does anyone not want Pettitte back?

Coaching staff all but in place
The King would like to return
  • Count Zero

    I definitely want him back. Even if he declines significantly, his mentor value alone would be worth it.

  • stuart

    imagine a player with some class and honesty..

    the problem with what arod did is not his opting out it is his lieing, attention grabbing, and his overall standard dishonesty…

    pettitte is a very good player who had a very good near HOF type career… He is not a HOFer but very very good career.

    I like the new regime and I like that it finally appears that cashman has the power…

    they are not going to spend like drunken sailors anymore and that is a good thing……

    • Jamal G.

      I think if Curt Schilling is a HOF then so is Andy Pettitte. If Pettitte can achieve the 2,000 K plateau (1,844 presently) then the HOF voters would be hard pressed not to vote in Pettitte (201-113, 3.83 ERA, 1,844 Ks, and 2nd most post season wins by a MLB pitcher with 14) if they vote in Schilling (216-146, 3.46 ERA, 3,116 Ks, 11-2 career mark in postseason and 4-1, 2.06 ERA in Fall Classic).

      We need Andy Pettitte back more than some poeple tend to think. Those 200 innings are invaluable especially since we will have 3 rookie pitchers in our rotation and only Kennedy (165.1 IP in 2007) is stretched out enough to go 200 innings in 2008.

      • steve (different one)

        Schilling has a much better case for the Hall of Fame, and i hate Schilling and love Pettitte. Pettitte has a ways to go.

        it’s not really all that close between the two.

    • RAY SAM

      joe giradi will bring yankees a title in three years. guarantee.

  • Jon

    He has the same deadline that ARod had – Nov 7. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he can’t decline it and then sign with them later (not in an ARod way, but basically if he just tells the Yankees he needs more time).

  • barry

    Pettite has to come back, losing him would probably make our rotation the youngest in baseball, if its not already.

    • Tommy

      And that’s a bad thing how?

      Cheap, young talent vs. aging $16 million dollar talent. Hmm…

      Sure he’d be a veteran presence blah blah but $16 million dollars is a hell of a lot of money when it might very well mean relegating Kennedy or Chamberlain to the pen, running their service clocks while not realizing their full potential.

      • barry

        Pettitte is a work horse and he’s proven himself reliable? What’s not to like about pettite his salary doesn’t break any backs and you can’t relly too heavily on young pitching, who’s to say their arms will be strong enough to carry them through a full season? Kennedy and Chamberlain won’t be going to the the pen either, Moose probably will end up in the pen before either of them and we’ve got a whole lot of dead time, so how do you even know that Wang will still be a yankee or any of the other pitchers as well, you can’t let andy pettitte walk away at this stage.

  • Adam

    I’d love for Pettitte to come back, I just hope that his return doesn’t mean that one of Hughes, Joba or IPK gets pushed out of the rotation. The Yanks need to realize that Mussina is done as an American League pitcher and trade him to a National League team for a bullpen arm with some upside and eat some of his salary.

    There is no reason that the rotation shouldn’t be Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Joba and IPK with Igawa, Rasner and Karstens available to spot-start or in case of injuries.

    That rotation is far better than any that includes Mussina, or an overpaid forth starter like Carlos Silva.

  • steve (different one)

    i’m not saying i agree with the WAY A-Rod opted out, but these two situations are in no way related.

    the Yankees gave Pettitte the player option in case he wanted to retire. there was a handshake agreement that he would not exercise it if he was hurt. the intention of the option was never to be used in case he wanted to simply make more money.

    that was EXACTLY the intent of the option A-Rod was given. and he exercised it.

    apples and oranges.

  • Stylez

    No Curt Shilling will go to the hofmer because hes a hofmer! Petitte might get some consideration and I love the guy but hes not a hofer. And yes I hate shilling more than anybody else in the world except for Becket (Who i think is a completely arrogant, ignorant asshole!).

    Pettitte (201-113, 3.83 ERA, 1,844 Ks, and 2nd most post season wins by a MLB pitcher with 14

    Schilling (216-146, 3.46 ERA, 3,116 Ks, 11-2 career mark in postseason and 4-1, 2.06 ERA in Fall Classic

    A thousand more strikeouts, .40 less on his ERA, near same post season success (blame that on the phillies in the mid to late 90’s). Shillings had a better career.

    Again though, I hate the guy with a passion.

    • Adam

      Remember though that Schilling was in the National League for much of that, so their adjusted ERAs are probably much closer.

      I think Andy would have a borderline case if he pitched another 4 seasons and got in the 260 wins area and kept the career ERA under 4.00. But it doesn’t look like he’s the kind to stick around forever. I think he’ll come back this year, but unless all the young pitchers revitalize him, I think he’ll call it quits after ’08 and end with a very good, but not HOF career.

      Schilling has certainly had HOF moments, but has he really had a HOF career? Take the post season away from him and he’s numbers are far from Hall worthy. I guess it would come down to how much the post season should count.

      • steve (different one)

        i have grudgingly come around on schilling being a HoFer. his peak is really strong, good longevity and the postseason credentials.

        i mean, isn’t mariano’s HoF case based largely on his postseason numbers? take them away, is he a HoFer?

        ERA+ Pettitte – 118, Schilling – 127

        • Adam

          Take away Mo’s post season stats and he’s still amongst the top 5 closers of all time, arguably number one.

  • NCS

    2 down and 2 to go on those terrible, up-in-the-air situations that were A-Rod’s authentic reason for bolting. What if we have it all settled before his deadline? Can Boras lose more credibility?

  • Steve S

    I think it should put to rest the thought that any players would leave because of Joe Torre, that naive response by the media and fans was insane to me. And anyone who thinks that Arod is leaving for Torre or any of these guys is crazy.

    By the way, just to get it out there, does anyone think that Arod’s quick departure might be related to things aside from the potential contract. While I dont think its true the allegations by Jose Canseco and the rumors of the released names at the end of the year make me think that there is a possibility that alex could be named and thats why he needs to get out of dodge. He can get a huge contract out in San Fran where he knows the fans will love you regardless of the sterod implications.

  • Jersey

    I don’t see why everyone is saying Schilling is a Hall of Famer. He’s one of those Kevin Brown/Mussina types who’s had an excellent career but is a borderline choice. And yeah, Pettitte is a step or two below Schill on that scale.


    Those are your contemporary Hall of Famers. I could see how Smoltz might have a case, maybe.

    • steve (different one)

      i agree with this, but Schilling would probably be next.

      who is to say the cutoff is after Glavine?

      • Jersey

        Career Win Shares (according to Hardball Times)
        Johnson – 315
        Glavine – 314
        Smoltz – 285
        Mussina – 256
        Schilling – 254
        Pedro – 250

        As you can see, pretty big dropoff.

        We should count his postseason successes, but we should also count the fact that he couldn’t stay healthy. He pitched over a thousand FEWER innings than Glavine, which basically accounts for the disparity.

        Pedro is a special case – his peak was historically great, and he’s got the all-time highest ERA+. Schilling’s career ERA+ is tied for 43rd. Very good, but you also have to figure there’s a good chance it drops a bit if he pitches next year.

        Basically, I think he’s close, but I don’t think those 133 postseason innings are enough to make up.

        • steve (different one)

          i can’t believe i am going to have to defend Curt Schilling, but aren’t those postseason innings the “starter equivalent” of Mariano’s postseason resume?

          a 2.23 ERA as a starter in the postseason with 3 rings….

          • Mike A.

            For what it’s worth, Schilling was never “The Guy” for his teams that won in the playoffs, he played second fiddle to Unit, Pedro and Beckett in his 3 WS years.

            He’s had a great career, but the only reason he’s considered a borderline HOFer is because he opened his fat mouth and put it in people’s heads. Moose has had a much better career (all spent in the AL East), his problem is that he never got over that hump and won 20, or a Cy, or the WS…

            • steve (different one)

              you could argue that Schilling was the top dog in 2004.

          • Jersey

            Comparing starters to relievers is comparing apples to oranges. The only way Mo (or any other reliever) ever gets in is if we only compare them to just relievers. Otherwise, you’re arguing that neither Mo, nor Hoffman, nor Sutter, Wilhelm or Fingers belongs in the Hall, because starters are clearly so much more valuable than relievers…which is actually an argument I can buy, to be honest, though when it gets down to it I don’t think the Hall should be closed to relievers.

            The rings don’t matter to me much, honestly.

      • Jamal G.

        Wait your going to tell me John Smoltz is not a sure-fire HOFer? You got to be kidding. At this point right now if he retired he would be a HOFer. 207 wins with 154 career saves, including an MLB record 15 wins in the postseason. Not to mention he’s 25 Ks short of 3,000. Im sorry but John Smoltz is a guaranteed 1st ballot HOFer. He is the only pitcher in MLB history to eclipse 200 wins and 150 saves, not to mention a Cy Young and Rolaid Relief Man award.

        • Jersey

          Smoltz does not get in first-ballot, and I’d wager money on that.

  • stuart

    I hate shilling even more then you guys(we should have a contest who hates him more), but he has had a better career they n Pettitte.. andy is 6 yrs younger so if he wanted to(which he does not) he could stick around and surpass shilling..

    shilling is a HOFer, moose never did anything big really…”shilling is obviously a few step below pedro, clemens, unit, glavine, and maddox

  • Andrew

    It would be really great for the Yankees if Pettitte stuck around a year or two into the new Stadium. He’s a gamer, as True a Yankees as you like, a fan favorite, and besides all that one of the best left-handed pitchers currently pitching.

    However, the fact that he has to think about returning to baseball tells me that 2008 will be his last year, which is too bad, because he’s an absolute horse and not that old.

  • Rick in Boston

    I think Andy will walk away from baseball after next season. As for is he Hall-worthy or not, I think he’s in the Moose/Kevin Brown/Schilling area as close, but no cigar. Schilling’s dominance was largely in the NL, but what he did in the post-season for the Sox could be a clincher.

    We’re going to have to settle, probably, for having to look at “46” in a new Monument Park for the rest of our lives. From this current Yankee era – Jeter, Mo, Torre, A-Rod are locks for the Hall. If Posada continues his later-career surge, he’ll get in eventually. After that, we better start hoping for Hughes and Joba.

    As for Monument Park, Jeter and Torre will get in there (and leave 0 as the only single-digit number remaining), O’Neill, Bernie, Posada and Pettitte will get in.

    • Mike A.

      I’m not so sure O’Neill will get in. He’s been retired for 7 years now, if he was going in it woulda happened already I think. Jeter and Mo are locks, Torre probably, Posada and Pettitte have a better than 50% chance.

  • Caleb

    Important to look at the pitchers relative to their peers. Pettitte only finished top 3 for CYA once in his career, and really only had 3 full seasons of ERA+ above 112 (1997, 2005). He also gives up a ton of unearned runs. He was a solidly better than average pitcher, but rarely a great. He is far far from the hall in my book, and any case for him would have to depend heavily on his won-loss record.

    I say Schilling is a borderline HoFer with his career, and the postseason will get him in. His peak was insane. 5 times as many shut outs as Pettitte, 3 years of 300+ Ks, 9 years of dominating ERA+ above 130 (which takes into account the NL boost). 2nd in CYA voting three times.

    A much better comp for the Schilling HoF case is Mussina, another borderline HoFer who has performed well in the postseason. Both have pitched about 3300 innings with strikingly similar stats (H, BB, HR, ERA+, SHO). Mussina was more consistent with his workload, finished in the top 6 for CYA 8 times, but dropped below league average ERA late in his career. Schilling’s workload fluctuated, but his highs were higher and he only turned in one league average season. I say they both will get the call, when it is all said and done.

  • Travis G.

    After Mo, it’s tough to choose as to who would be a more necessary signing, Pettitte or Posada. the catcher who hits or the 200+ ip starter?

    we need that 200+ innings though. Hughes and Joba are unable to go past 170. Kennedy if stretched can get to 200. Wang & Pettitte are sure bets (if healthy, knock on wood). What i see is going with that rotation until Joba or Hughes can be skipped a time, and using Moose on occasion.

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