Open Thread: What about Andy?

Knocking down the Stadium, carefully
Game 141: Good thing Seattle's known for its coffee

The Facts:

Is Pettitte falling off a cliff right before our eyes, or is he just in a rut? Either way, the Yanks will have to decide what to do with Andy next year. Given that he’s a Type-A free agent, offering him arbitration is a no brainer … or is it? Is he worth $16M a year?

What do you think, should the Yankees try to bring Andy Pettitte back next year (assuming he doesn’t retire)? Talk it out here while we wait for the West Coast game to start.

Knocking down the Stadium, carefully
Game 141: Good thing Seattle's known for its coffee
  • Josh

    Bottom line I think we have to offer him arbitration because hopefully next year we won’t be counting on him to be an ace so we can afford to have him as a 3 or 4 considering if Joba stays healthy and in the rotation for most of the year we will have a cheap one-two punch with Wang and Joba. Furthermore his veteran presence and competitiveness are really invaluable in my opinion. This all assumes we do not make the splash with CC. If we do sign him,innings eater rather than front of the rotation guy who we leaned on too much this year. With all the big salaries coming off the payroll we can afford to overpay for Pettitte, especially considering I still think he is a viable pitcher in this league.

    If we offer Pettitte arbitration and he retires we get nothing, correct?

    • Steve

      Of course, free agent draft pick compensation comes from the team that signs him. If nobody signs him . . .

      • BklynJT

        Offer both arbitration.. Your rotation can never be too deep.

  • Steve

    The choice between Andy and Moose is an easy one, but not based on performance. Andy is willing to go year to year at this point, wheras Moose will certainly get multi year offers after the season he’s had. Moose will have to decide between one year with the Yanks or a 2-3 year deal with someone like the Phillies.

    National League, closer to his PA home, Moose chooses to chase the HOF and 300 wins with the Phils. Yanks move on, no feelings hurt on either side.

    • Pablo Zevallos

      Why would Moose go to a bandbox in the NL? He’d have to bat for the first time at 40! Remember how well that went in 2004?

      • Steve

        Because its closer to his PA home, he would get to chase 300 wins, and about 30 million other reasons.

        • Pablo Zevallos

          30 million other reasons including him saying he doesn’t want to pitch there…right.

          • Steve

            I’ve never heard him say that. Do you have a link?

        • Aaron

          NYC isn’t far from PA though. So just how much of a factor would that really be in his decision making?

          He’s pitched his whole career in the AL East. Winning 300 games in such a tough division says quite a lot now doesn’t it? (I understand not every win was against AL East teams but still, you know what I mean here.)

      • Steve

        Plus, he’d be going to the NL which is a picnic compared to the AL East.

  • Baseballnation

    The typeA really doesn’t matter because either the yanks offer arb and he accepts ot they choose not to offer arb thus getting no picks. Yes he’s been pretty bad of late but I really think it’s just Fatigue perhaps more than anything. REIGNING HIM FOR 16 Million though? That kind of saved money can go into a Sheets while they also play tag with Sabathia. Yes Sheets is injury prone but if healthy, he’s one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball…Of course thats if. Still he figures to have a much better year than Andy next year.

    This is all moot though. Andy will sign a 1 year deal with the Yankees to open up at the house that George built because as teinbrenner would say “Andy is a warrior, true competitor, and true yankee.”

    • Bill O

      Yea I wouldn’t offer arbitration to him because he isn’t likely to sign elsewhere as his primary motivation for coming back would be to pitch in the new stadium. I think you offer him about 1 year 10M and spin it as Andy taking one for the team so that he can pitch in the new stadium and we can spend money improving the team to make a championship push.

      I’d definitely offer Moose arbitration, but for Andy I wouldn’t give him 16M for next year.

    • Steve

      I agree.

      Andy will be back, but for around 10-12 per year plus maybe some incentives.

    • Currambayankees

      Sheets staying health is quite a BIG IF and not worth pursuing. Let another sucker pay this Pavano. One is more than enough for me.

  • Steve

    BTW-We’ve been over this arbitration stuff many times, its my understanding that the 80% rule doesn’t apply to unrestricted free agents like Moose or Andy. It applies to restricted guys in their 1st 6 years of service.

    Which makes total sense, young players are typically making little and on the upswing of their careers. They almost always get raises in arbitration. But if you couldn’t offer more than a 20% pay cut to older players than many veterans would have no chance to stay with a team they’ve grown comfortable with as they age and their skills decline.

    The players themselves wouldn’t want that rule, it would force them to move at a stage of their career when they don’t want to.

    • cult of basebaal

      your understanding is correct, the 20% rule does not apply to free agents.

      • Steve

        So what do I do the next time somebody says “We cant offer Andy arbitration, we’d have to offer at least 80% of his 16 mil”?

        Kick them in the nuts?

      • Ed

        The following is from the collective bargaining agreement. There is no distinction made between players who have or have not reached free agency. Note that in the CBA, there is no separate arbitration section for players with more than 6 years of service time. You an find this starting on page 15.


        A Club may submit a salary figure for salary arbitration that is at least 80% of the Player’s previous year’s salary and earned performance bonuses (and at least 70% of his salary and earned performance bonuses two years previous), the provisions of Section A(5) above notwithstanding. This exception shall not be used by any party, or considered by any salary arbitrator, in support of, or in opposition to, any argument regarding the evaluation of Player contracts.

        A Club may submit a salary arbitration figure without regard to the provisions of Section D above if the figure submitted is with respect to a Player who, in the immediately preceding year, won a salary arbitration which increased the Player’s prior year’s salary by in excess of 50%.


        There is a seperate 20% rule for players with under 6 years service time. The team can’t offer them less than 80% of the previous year’s contract regardless of arbitration.

  • Pablo Zevallos

    I think he’s falling off a cliff now. He doesn’t have the same command he used to, he’s been more homer-prone, and his velocity barely reaches 90. I see his cutter doesn’t cut as much and his curve is all but useless for him. I think you try to get him to an agreement where he is offered arbitration and declines, and then they don’t bring him back. If he still wants to come back, I wouldn’t take the risk of offering him arb.

    Before I get harped on for the velocity argument, the thing is that Pettitte has been the gutter and gamer type, not quite the super smart guy that Mike Mussina is. Unless Pettitte re-invents himself (pitches like Jamie Moyer ;) )he won’t succeed much longer. Moreover, Pettitte can’t succeed without establishing his fastball and the difference of his fastball with his cutter, which right now are only about 1-2 MPH apart (87 and 86) when it used to be about 4 MPH apart (91 and 87).

    • Steve

      OK, I can’t resist harping on you for the velocity stuff. Andy has always been a ground ball pitcher, not a strikeout pitcher. Velocity is less of an issue for him.

      BTW-It never ceases to amaze me how many people think velocity is the main thing when it comes to pitching. I have 2 words for you people ‘Kyle Farnsworth’.

      • Pablo Zevallos

        Notice I never said it was the main thing. But it’s also your style of pitching and your smarts on the mound, neither of which you need of as much if you have velocity.

        Also I notice I said that his command is slipping, and you can’t get away with a fastball down the middle, particularly an 87 MPH fastball. It’s easier with 95, but that doesn’t mean you won’t give up HRs. Kyle Farnsworth proved that.

        • Steve

          Fine, but his velocity has been the same in past years and he’s pitched well. I don’t think its the cause of his problems, especially since (again) he’s a ground ball pitcher who relies more on changing speeds and keeping the ball down in the zone.

          I haven’t seen any big differences in his control, but I do agree about his cutter. Righties have killed him all year (.325 BAA) and that’s one of his main tools against them. But its not as if they haven’t killed him in the past, they’ve averaged .285-.295 BAA for most of the past few years and he’s been MUCH better against Lefties this year (.198 BAA) than past years (.298 in 06 .259 in 07).

          I think its mostly just bad luck for Andy. Ground ball pitchers are more susceptible to luck than most.

    • steve (different one)

      Moreover, Pettitte can’t succeed without establishing his fastball and the difference of his fastball with his cutter, which right now are only about 1-2 MPH apart (87 and 86) when it used to be about 4 MPH apart (91 and 87).

      from fangraphs:

      average fastball

      2007 – 89.1
      2008 – 88.6

      average cutter
      2007 – 85.2
      2008 – 83.9

  • steve (different one)

    offering arbitration is a no brainer b/c Andy will NOT screw the yankees by accepting. that’s just not the way he does business.

    he had a handshake agreement with the yankees this offseason. he declined his player’s option while he mulled over retirement. this technically made him a FA.

    he could have easily gone on the market and gotten a 3 year deal. easily.

    but he honored the original terms of the deal.

    he’s a standup guy. he’s not going to accept arb just to squeeze out an extra million or two.

    the yankees will offer him arbitration just in case he decides to go back to Houston or whatever, but if i had to guess, i would guess he’ll either be back for about $10M or he will retire.

  • pat

    unrelated I know, but Joe when did u become one of tim dierkes’ henchmen? Was today the first day or have I been oblivious for a long time?

    • Aaron

      Joe’s been helping Tim out for quite awhile now. He writes more coherently than any of Tim’s other “henchmen”.

    • Whitey14

      You’ve been oblivious…Joe’s been there for quite some time now. And as a Red Sox fan, may I say, it’s a credit to you Joe, that I never see a Yankee bias in your writings at MLB Trade Rumors.

  • 27 this year

    A little off topic, but Mike, you might want to add a post about Aceves starting instead of Rasner. Official as per Pete Abe.

    • Steve

      About 2 months late, but I guess I shouldn’t complain.

      The main thing I want see the rest of this year is to get a look at some of the AAA guys. There’s a LOT of work to do in the off season, and we need to know what we have in-house before making any trades or moves.

      Some of these guys could be auditioning for trade partners, other for spots on next year’s team.

      • cult of basebaal

        in a world where aceves didn’t have a groin injury, perhaps a couple of months, but the reality is that he did and it took him not only the injury time, but multiple subsequent starts to begin pitching with anything resembling the command and effectiveness that had him rocketing through the system to begin with … just one of the many little seen “what might have beens” from this year …

        • Steve

          I would have stuck with Kennedy myself, despite his struggles. He was just missing with his pitches and being ahead 1-2 instead of down 2-1 makes all the difference in the world, especially for a young pitcher like him. Control isn’t an issue, he’s always had outstanding control. He was nibbling, and just needed to be more aggressive.

          Look at Mike Pelfry with the Mets. He was hideous last year, the year before and April and May of this year. Since then he’s gone 8-2 with a 2.82 ERA. Now he’s one of their best pitchers.

  • Hitman

    What does it matter if Pettitte is a type A? It’s not like he’s going to pitch for anyone else.

    • Reggie C.

      I agree. That’s plain truth. He’s not going back to Houston. The ghost of roger clemens still haunts that place , and the Astros aren’t even sniffing wild card. Andy rolls the dice with the Yanks next year or retires.

  • Jake H

    Andy P is a Yankee legend. If he wants to come back for 10 mil a yr as a 3rd or 4th starter why not. I don’t know if he has it in him. I think this season is taking it’s toll on Andy. Is he going to want to go through it again with probably testifying against someone he respects and knows real well? I don’t know.

  • Pingback: River Ave. Blues | Game 141: Good thing Seattle’s known for its coffee

  • Reggie C.

    Andy Pettitte is still a solid contributor to this ball club. We’re still about a month out till the fat lady sings on the season, and i’m pretty sure that nobody can put any of the blame of this team’s performance on Andy.

    He isn’t a 1/2 guy anymore. Wang and FA #1 should take that responsibility in ’09. Andy coming back at a 10M or so range is fine with me. I’d in fact expect him to do better next year with FA#1’s presence in the rotation.

    Besides, if Andy turned down arbitration, i think we’d ALL be shocked if he signed with another team. Bottom Line: There’s no 2 picks coming from this stone!!

  • bkight13

    I think after the whole HGH mess Andy will retire. He has been disappointing this year and that kind of money can be better spent on Sheets, CC and/or Burnett. I would re-sign Moose for the same money he’s getting now.

    • Joey H

      i wouldnt give sheets a 1 million dollar deal he is the least durable pitcher out there with some exceptions

  • Joey H

    andy pettite is NOT a 16 million dollar pitcher, we need to save our money for younger better talent. i love andy i have an andy pettite shirt, hes a great pitcher but he is not worth 16 mill by any stretch of the imagination. hes made a good living off of the yankees, give him a 7 mill 1 yr deal with incentives based on starts made and era ect..

    • Steve

      I’ve yet to hear anyone say we should bring him back for 16 mil. Most have said 10-12 mil. Does that change your mind at all?

      Also, with 80+ mil coming off the books this year, I think we can afford BOTH bringing in a big free agent or two and bringing Andy back. One doesn’t exclude the other.

      • Joey H

        no i understand that steve but what im saying is he isnt a 10mil firm pitcher anymore. i dont think he will retire after a season like this. he will prepare hard and give it another run. 7mil+incentives up to 11 mil. thats fair for a number 4 starter in a healthy rotation

  • Mike C

    I think Andy is struggling now because he didn’t get his regular off-season work becuase of the Clemen’s steroid garbage. He’s not as strong at this point in the season as years past.

  • Adrian-Retire21

    I love Pettitte but we need to get rid of these oldeer players.Good keep Mo even Posda.But Giambi and Pettitte are easily not needed and are replacable.

  • Todd

    I am happy that someone (mediots, bloggers, message board fans, etc) finally called out the fact that Pettite has sucked. I haven’t had any confidence in him in months. And regarding next year, in my best Mora voice: “next year?!? next year?!? I just want a quality start!” Love the guy though…

  • Currambayankees

    If the Yankees are bringing back one of Moose or Pettite, I’d rather it’d be Pettite. No, he hasn’t had a great year but not too many Yankees have.

  • Pingback: River Ave. Blues | Pettitte strong, but Morrow dominates

  • BG

    I assume he either comes back to the Yankees or retires so I see no benefit in offering arbitration. He seems to take his time deciding whether he wants to come back or not. I’d let him take his time so we can explore our free agent options. If we sign CC, Sheets or Burnett, I think there’s room for either him or Mussina but not both. If Mussina is willing to sign for one year or one year plus an option with buyout, I’d go with Mussina. If we can’t sign one of those three free agents or if Mussina retires or is unreasonable in his demands, I’d sign Pettite. You could argue that Lowe would be a better option than Pettite next year but I’d bet Lowe gets a 3 year contract and I’d rather have one year of Pettite than 3 years of Lowe. He’s probably worth the $10-12MM most people are suggesting but given its only a one year commitment I’d probably go as high as $14MM if I really wanted him back.

  • Northrop

    It’s better to unload guys a year too early rather than a year too late. We need to understand that this team requires a major re-make. Let’s get it over with. Goodbye to Andy, Moose and Giambi. Bring up the kids and take our whipping next year.

  • Bart

    I do not hink we can build a team by making this player or that player decisons — even for the ANdy / Moose decsions —

    It may be useful to begin by identifying the 1-9 you have under contract for more than 2 years and assess how much offense and defense they will provide to any set of pitchers in 2011 and then work backward from the team you can field then – to the step wise decison for 2009 / 2010 tht get you ther

    I think only four everyday players are controlled that “you” would likley not trade/dismiss –

    Jeter, ARod, Cano, — (age 36, 35, 25, 39)

    plus unproven – or uncertain — youngsters, Melky, Gardner, Jackson,

    Players you have for 2 years – Posada, Matsui and Nagy – have a decison to make on them for 2011

    Players you can keep but have to do something with a contract and a commitment beyond what you might want
    Abreu, Damon, Giambi, Molina

    What pitching is available –

    Wang – although we are uncertain of reconvery – wil he have the heavy sinker or “become” only an innings eating GB picther (that is not a#1 perhaps not a #2)
    Joba – love him but can he stay on the field for 200 innings
    Mo — ageless we hope
    Hughes – can he learn and stay healthy
    IPK – can he learn

    Aceves, Melancon, Robertson, Veras, Marte, Edwar ??

    Several minor league prospects who need time to grow and protection from too much Hype/Demands

    — I would think you need a #1 who can shield the young pitching, stabilize the rotation. In addition it loks like Andy or Moose can give 35 starts and innings – maybe 14-18 wins with reasonable defense / offense

    — It will be hard with this lost year to wrok all 3 of Joba IPK and Hughes up to 200 innings assuning no health issues and enough efffectiveness that they can stay in the rotation – at a minimum we only need them to be better than Rasner and Ponson

    The big decsion then is Sabbathia – do you pay hom to achor the rotaion as the offense both ages and rebuilds

    If you can’t get him and don’t want to risk a Burnett – then to build from within you have to keep Moose and Pettit but give them Defense and run support

    I am not committed as a fan to Joba Huges or even Jeter – I am committed to the team and Ynakee history — there is something that separates the Yankees from other teams and part of that is the simple commitment to winnning.

    I would like that the players are young, athletic, exciting to root for — and not crass, insufererable unsportsman like. If we trade for those kinds of players to asmble the 1-9 then we wil have done no diffferently than in getting Paul O’Neil, Gregg Nettles, David Cone, Tino Martinez —

    You get where I am going — build with the right players, as youthful as possible – avoid the downhill slide All Stars

    So who are the best cadiates for LF, CF, RF, 1B, SS, C in 2011. You get to move Jeter somewhere – Have to keep the HOF — 1st Yankee to get 3000 hits.

    Keep Moose and Pettit long enough they may be HOF as well.

    I may be making a circular argument but it appears to me that you have to acnhor your pitching staff just to build to 2011 – and maybe the pieces begin to fall into lace to be competitve in 2009 and 2010

  • pounder

    Lets not forget Andy deserted us a few years ago.Who’s to say he won’t do it again.Perhaps he retires,and if need be,we can resign him in the middle of next season,ala RC.