Pettitte declines his option but…

Filling the third base hole, part 1 of a lot
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Andy Pettitte has, according to his agents, declined to exercise his 2008 option. While the initial reaction among Yankee fans is one of panic, there’s comparatively little to worry about here. Pettitte will either pitch for the Yankees in 2008 or retire.

Randy Hendricks, his agent, issued the following statement:

“I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season. Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.

“If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees’ willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time.”

Don’t panic. Pettitte isn’t jumping ship. It was anticipated that he would take a little bit longer than ten days to determine his future. I’m still betting he’ll be back.

Update: PeteAbe has a little bit more from Brian Cashman. The Yanks GM has politely asked Pettitte to decide within the next two months. That seems quite reasonable to me.

It’s clear that the Yanks want Andy to stay. They see big things for him in his role as staff ace next year, and his departure could radically change the Yankees’ offseason plans. Johan Santana is just moving higher and higher up their Wish List.

“Obviously we want Andy to stay with the Yanks and pitch for us in ’08,” Cashman said. “In fact I’d say I need him to. He’s an important piece for us.”

Filling the third base hole, part 1 of a lot
AFL Recap
  • alex

    yeah, but what does cashman do in the meantime? overpay for a crappy starter only to have pettitte come back, or miss out on signing another starter only to have pettitte retire?

    he’s being sort of a drama queen. i understand that this is an important decision, but really, if he hasn’t decided in a month, what is another month going to do? he just waiting to see what his boyfriend roger is going to do. grow up and make a decision andy. damn i am pissed.

  • Ivan

    I ain’t gonna lie, was panicing as soon as I heard pettite decline the option, but then after a while, I thought about it a little and there was little to worry about.

  • A non mouse

    Freddy Garcia, here we come…

  • Bxgrl1

    I just wish we would have some good news coming out of Yankee land. While
    I understand Andy’s position, it would have been good to sign him and get it over with and have one thing secure. Maybe get some momentum of good news going…

  • Pfistyunc

    He needs to decide soon. I don’t want Carlos Silva’s agent blowing up Cashman’s phone in the coming months!

    • Ben K.

      Just the thought of Carlos Silva scares me.

      • Mike A.

        Randy Wolf or Freddy Garcia on a 1-yr “show me what ya got” deal wouldn’t be bad, even if Andy comes back. Carlos Silva though…can you imagine rolling into a big 3-game set at Fenway in September with him slated to start a game? Oy.

        • Mike R.

          I’d give one of those one year deals to Bartolo Colon as well. Maybe he can prove he’s still got something.

          • Kanst

            I would definitely do this, if he is healthy he is a steal if not well then Mussina has to start games. Even if Pettite comes back and Colon stays healthy then we just let one of the young guys start the year in AAA and call them up when someone gets hurt

  • inman

    he’ll be back- just some extra headlines on the back pages. he did learn this 1 year at a time game from his buddy rog. if they sign a free agent it would be a waste of money- i’d give those innings to mussina rather then those guys listed above. the 3 youngsters have to be given a chance. if something doesnt go right then you can trade or possibly bring someone else up. no need to panic.

  • Gibb

    I understand a lot has changed in the Yankee world, for good and bad. Everyone is talking about how there’s no good news coming out about the Yankees. How;s this: The yankees will have Wang Hughes Chamberlain and hopefully Pettitte in their rotation next year. That could potentially be awesome and worst case still be fun to watch. I never really got pumped to watch Jared Wright or Keven Brown pitch. I’m going to be real excited about watching Hughes and Chamberlain getting full seasons in the majors.

    • inman

      dont forget kennedy. he was more exciting to watch than clemons last year

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    I love Andy but this is getting to be too much. The team has to prepare for 2008 he needs to cowboy up and quit this blasted fence sitting routine.

    • Ben K.

      Can we never say this team needs to cowboy up? Ever. Let’s just ban that from RAB :)

    • inman

      ouch! sitting on a fence sounds like it could hurt. i think he’s sitting on the side of his swimming pool coming to this difficult decision. and ben’s right. although andy lives in tejas, i concur that cowboy up should indeed be left out of this discussion.

    • steve (different one)

      isn’t it November 5th? the yankees didn’t sign Pettitte until December 21st last year.

  • mehmattski

    Hey guys- is it me or are there posts disappearing. On my Google Reader there was a post by Joseph P about the importance of Pettitte’s option. I was trying to respond to it given a closer reading of the CBA (and some discussion over at Bronx Banter), but when I clicked the link in my reader, that post no longer exists. What gives?

    • Ben K.

      That one disappeared because we corrected some of the information. It concerned Pettitte’s free agency and the Yanks’ Type A free agents. Andy Pettitte does not count against the Yanks’ Type A free agents this year. Each team is allowed to sign 3 Type A free agents + the same number of Type A free agents they lose to free agency. Since the Yanks have, in effect, lost Andy Pettitte to free agency, when he re-signs with them in a few weeks, that simply counts as gaining back one they lost and not one of their three.

      The post that disappeared was based on information that we later learned was erroneous. Thus, we disappeared it since that was easier than updating the entire thing.

      • mehmattski

        Fair enough… you should check out the end of the current BB thread for a more in-depth discussion. According to my reading of the CBA, teams signing their own players DO count toward the Type A/B total. The rule:

        “Irrespective of the provisions of subparagraph (a) above, a Club shall be eligible to sign at least as many Type Aand B Players as it may have lost through Players having become free agents under this Section at the close of the season just concluded.”

        Therefore if Posada, Rivera, Pettitte, A-Rod, and Vizcaino all left, the Yankees could sign five different Type A/B free agents. There are exceptions: players who agree to salary arbitration are not counted toward the quota (even if they sign a multi-year deal after agreeing to arbitration), and players who sign within 15 days from the end of the World Series (which would be this Sunday) do not count towards the quota.

        Finally, as someone else pointed out, the actual rule regarding the quota set at three reads:

        “The number of signings permitted shall be related to the number of Players electing free agency under this Section B.”

        So that’s where THT and Cot’s have the rule wrong- the quota level is set not by the number of Type A and B free agents, but by the number of ALL free agents, and there are certainly going to be more than 62 free agents. Therefore the cap will be at least four, probably five. In the end, not much to worry about for the Yankees.

        • Ben K.

          Therefore if Posada, Rivera, Pettitte, A-Rod, and Vizcaino all left, the Yankees could sign five different Type A/B free agents.

          That’s how I read it too. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

          Agree with you also that, in the end, it won’t matter one bit. The Yanks will be able to sign as many Type A free agents as they want to. This is much less of a big deal than anyone’s making it.

  • Prete Funk Era

    Over at LoHud they had a great idea of sending letters to Andy to tell him how we feel about his contributions as NY Yankee fans.

    GO here

    to get the full contact information on how to contact Pettitte through his agent.

  • Mark

    If you check the Roger Clemens play book this is directly from it. The retirement card and family man parlayed to more money. Hope I’m wrong but wouldn’t bet on it.

  • Count Zero

    Hmmm…I actually think this IS a big deal. Precisely for the reason pointed out by Alex and Pfistyunc above — he leaves us not knowing whether we need another starter or we don’t.

    Key thing that keeps conveniently slipping people’s mind: Neither Joba nor Phil is in a position to pitch 200 innings next year. Kennedy can go 180+. Hughes is debatable because of this year’s DL stint. Joba shouldn’t pitch more than 150, really. That means he a) cannot be in the rotation on Day 1 or b) gets removed after 5-6 every start or c) must be in some funky six-man rotation thing or d) is not available in September and October.

    I’m just as much in love with the idea of Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy as anyone else is — but realistically, this cannot be our rotation for the entire season. If Andy is out, then we definitely need a replacement who can throw 200+, otherwise Wang is our only 200 guy. And if he makes us wait till January to find that out, the pickins might be pretty slim. It also has implications on our ability to trade any of the kid trio for a 3B (or any other position player) — again this could hamstring us till January.