Via MLBTR, free agent southpaw Andy Pettitte has had numerous conversations with ex-manager Joe Torre recently, reportedly about the possibility of joining the Dodgers’ rotation. Pettitte’s already said that he wants to return to the Yanks in 2009, but speculation is that he may be feeling slighted by the way the Yanks are slowly approaching a potential return.
I remember the feeling back in 2004, that “dude, Andy’s not going anywhere, chill out” attitude. It was a bit surprising to see Pettitte head home to Houston, and it wasn’t until he was gone that you realized just how important he was. Sure, he put up a 6.23 ERA in the second half and turned opposing hitters into Raul Ibanez thanks to a .835 OPS against, but he’s still valuable as a rotation stalwart because of his supreme durability and fearlessness.
Regardless of who the Yanks sign this offseason, Pettitte’s return is important for more reasons than we may understand. He brings a veteran presence to the back of the rotation, he’s a lock for 200+ league average or better innings, and there’s no adjustment period. Work it out, I’m sure he’d be cool taking a little pay cut from the $16M he’s earned the past two years, say $12M or so. Don’t let him leave again; as we learned back in ’04 the only guy that can replace Andy is … Andy.
Here’s your open thread for the evening. Talk Pettitte, LeBron at the Garden, whatever. Just play nice.
Update (7:15pm): Before anyone asks, Pettitte is a Type-A free agent, so if he did head to SoCal the Yanks would get the Dodgers first round pick (#17 overall, the second best pick they could possibly get) and a sandwich rounder.