Cool on Sheets, Yanks view Pettite’s return as ‘virtually inevitable’

Heyman: Yanks, Boras talking Tex
Giambi market taking shape

In one of his tersest reports of the Hot Stove League, FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Andy Pettitte will return to the Yanks for 2009. The two sides have to work out appropriate compensation for the aging lefty, but the return, according to Rosenthal’s sources is “virtually inevitable.” The Yanks also seem willing to wait for Pettitte because, as Jon Heyman notes, the Yanks are wary of Ben Sheets’ medical reports. The former Brewer would apparently be the fallback choice if Pettitte doesn’t return.

Bringing Andy back into the fold would leave the Yanks with a rotation of CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain. Al Aceves, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy would be waiting in the wings. That sounds like pitching depth to me. Now, if only the Yanks would do something about their offense too.

Heyman: Yanks, Boras talking Tex
Giambi market taking shape
  • http://www.stilettsetsports.com StilettoSet

    If that isn’t a major improvement on last year, I don’t know what is. That would pretty much cover every hole in pitching that I could think of and leave some room for injuries. Knock on wood.

    There’s already plenty of offense. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Manny’s bat.

  • daneptizl

    Heyman has an article about the Yanks/Tex…

  • ceciguante

    hear hear.
    great news!

    the offensive situation is trickier. tex? manny? dunn? none of the above? i’m finding it tough to read the yanks’ direction in this one. i’m behind on my reading, but other than some hank blather about liking manny, i don’t see them telegraphing their plan like they did (foolishly?) with CC. the suspense is killing me.

    • Jonny not the Damon

      i agree about the suspense. it’s hard to tell whether Cashman is just playing it close to the vest, or if there is some serious disagreement in the front office over which bat to pursue. it does make for some great hot stove banter though.

  • That guy

    Anything is better than last year assuming everyone is healthy

  • Mike P

    I realize this is a bit off topic, but having missed out on Nick Punto, how about taking a look at Aaron Miles as a utility infielder?
    He’s a capable defender at 2B/SS/3B, hits enough to not be a black hole offensively, and even filled in at all three outfield positions at times last season.

  • http://evizions.com eVizions

    You wanna do something about the offense? Let’s see what Toronto would want for Vernon Wells. Assuming they would trade him in the division, he would solve every problem we currently have offensively:

    – He would give us a legitimate CF, allowing Damon to stay in left, Nady in right and Gardner as a fourth OF

    – He could hit 3rd or 4th and give us the bat we really need

    – He would ‘only’ cost us about $17M per year, a hell of a lot cheaper than Manny or Tex

    I wonder what Toronto would want in return

    • T-Dizzle

      i agree lets get him i know he wsa down a little this year but we would be buying low which is always smart and he was always a star hitter in his whole career before this year plus he plays a position we need to upgrade GET WELLS!

      • Mike P

        Different Mike P here. Well’s contract isn’t pretty. If the Yanks’re going to take on over $120 million for at least 6 years, why not just throw the cash at Texeira? It’s the same argument of roster flexibility and risk, so just go for the better and more reliable player.

        • T-Dizzle

          6 and 120 is different than 8 and 195 plus i think its better to have an elite hitter in cf than it is at 1b and also swisher is our 1b and hes passable there while melky and garnder might not be in cf

          • steve (different one)

            i think its better to have an elite hitter in cf than it is at 1b and

            and you are right. it is better to have an elite hitter in CF.

            but Vernon Wells is not an elite hitter. not even close.

            if Vernon Wells is an elite hitter, Xavier Nady is an elite hitter.

            Wells: career OPS+ 109, 2008 – 121 OPS+
            Nady: career OPS+ 108, 2008 – 128 OPS+

            they are the same age, very similar hitters. Wells is currently a CFer, but his defense is slipping, so he will have to be moved to a corner at some point in the next few years.

            he’s Xavier Nady. would you pay $117M/6 years for Xavier Nady?

        • http://evizions.com eVizions

          Actually, his contract is pretty good this year and next. As long as Toronto picks up his bonus, he is due:

          2009 – $1.5M
          2010 – $12.5M
          2011 – $23M
          2012-2014 – $21M

          Hell, we could even add Manny for 2 or 3 years AFTER trading for Wells.

          • Ryan S.

            Do not put your trust in Vernon Wells. Last year he had a UZR of -12.8 so forget about him being a quality CF. He’s an albatross waiting to happen, I promise you.

    • steve (different one)

      pass.

      $117M for 6 years.

      maybe if Toronto ate about $40M and took a B prospect in return.

      • http://evizions.com eVizions

        He’s a premier CF who is only 30. I’d much rather pay him for the next 6 years than a LF/DH $25M for 3 or a 1B $2xM for 8.

        • T-Dizzle

          absolutely

        • Dirt

          If only he were a premier CF who didn’t take at-bats off, and have a career OPS+ 3 points higher than Melky’s. I like Wells more than our centerfield options now, if only because I go back and forth on Gardner, and I’m not sure about him on this particular day. But I think the contract is too big and the prospects too much to take him.

          Matsui for Wells!!!!1

          • daneptizl

            Fail. Check the OPS+. Not that I want him anyway…

            • Dirt

              Eh, somebody put the numbers up in the last thread, maybe it wasn’t OPS+, that’s what I get for being lazy. My bad.

              • daneptizl

                Oh yea that was me… it was like 3 pts higher in career OBP. For 18 MM/year…

                • Dirt

                  So my point still applies haha, other than me being stupid, sounds like we’re in heated agreement.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  OBP is very important but don’t just look at OBP when comparing players. Vernon Wells is a much better baseball hitter than Melky Cabrera, it’s really not very close. See below (response to daneptizl’s OBP comment in the last thread):

                  http://riveraveblues.com/2008/12/heyman-yanks-boras-talking-tex-6376/#comment-236563

        • steve (different one)

          He’s a premier CF who is only 30.

          he’s not a premier CFer.

          his defense is declining.

          his contract is terrible.

          the Blue Jays are shopping him: i GUARANTEE you no one will take him unless the Jays eat a bunch of money.

          if he WERE a premier CFer, there would be a healthy market for him. there won’t be.

          i can’t prove that now, but we can re-visit in a month or two. he’ll still be in Toronto.

          AJ Burnett has been more valuable than Wells in 3 out of the last 4 seasons. so i guess Cashman got a bargain on Burnett?

      • Ryan S.

        Agreed, Vernon Well’s contract is retarded. I see him breaking down soon and I would not trust having that guy for 6 more years. Much better off focusing on Manny or Dunn – shorter terms and more power. Let AJax take over CF next year, and our defense w/ Gardner/Cabrera isn’t going to be much different than having Wells.

  • Manimal

    Signing Pettite would stunt Hughes progression in my opinion, Hughes can’t linger in AAA forever he needs major league innings. I don’t mind every 5th day having Hughes.

    • Ryan S.

      Hughes is only 22 years old and he’d be our #6 most likely – I’m guesstimating he’ll start in the Bigs 10 times this year, maybe more. Let him have a full healthy year in AAA refining his stuff a bit more and get his confidence back up by letting him the kick the shit outta every lineup he faces, and he’ll still get chances to face major league line ups this year. Than in 2010 Pettitte is gone and Hughes conveniently slots into the #5 spot, and both him and Joba will have higher inning limits at that point too.

      If you start both Joba and Hughes this year, the rotation is much more susceptible for a few reasons.

      • Manimal

        I just think its a wasted year, Hughes has refined his stuff for a year now and I think leaving him down another year would be a bummer for him.

        • Ryan S.

          Pettitte is a left handed, league-average workhorse – really not that bad. Hughes is an injury prone prospect who still has an innings limit and has yet to prove himself. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hughes – I think he’s going to be a superstar right along with Joba. I’ll even say that right now he is probably a better pitcher than Andy on a day where both of them are at the top of the game. But he will continue to improve in AAA and be more prepared for the workload and expectations that a spot in the starting rotation has.

          We’ve already got a high ceiling prospect with an innings limit in the rotation with Joba, who is 23 years old. Just be patient and methodical with how we implement our youngins. Hughes’ time will come, maybe even this year still if someone gets hurt.

          • http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v621/134/99/513321182/n513321182_2118948_7574.jpg Nady Nation

            Very well put

          • Dirt

            So consensus is that it is more likely that Hughes and Kennedy start in AAA while Aceves is the longman, yes?

            Also, anybody know what the ceiling is for one Jairo Heredia, although I’m permanently scarred by Yankee pitchers named Heredia. I don’t hear much about him, but what I’ve heard is good, I just can’t quite get a feeling whether he project as a #1 (I don’t think so) or if he’s more like a #2 or a good #3.

            • Ryan S.

              Yes, Hughes and Kennedy in AAA, and would sub in as the #6 and #7 starters respectively. Aceves or Giese I could see being the longman … I’d say Aceves though because Giese can has proven to be effective as a 6th/7th inning guy too.

              I looked up Heredia and see that he’s still really young, can’t say I know much about him. I’ll keep an eye out for news about him though … it’ll be a while before he stands out though probably.

          • Manimal

            You can’t say hes injury prone, he cracked a rib and sprained his ankle in a freak accident.

            • Ryan S.

              Ahem…

              * crack rib suffered in April 2008.
              * hamstring injury suffered while pitching in May 2007.
              * ankle injury suffered while rehabbing his hamstring in June 2007.
              * missed a couple of weeks in 2005 with a sore shoulder.
              * first pro season (2004) limited to five innings because of sore elbow and broken toe.

              • Manimal

                -his hamstring injury was in Arlington during a no-no through 6 in like 110 degrees.
                -ankle injury happened by stepping awkwardly on the mound
                -the other ones i didn’t know about.

                Don’t call him Carl Pavano yet, but he has gotten injured.

                • Ryan S.

                  Umm…didn’t I just call him a future superstar? In no way am I comparing Hughes to American Idle. I’m sorry but the injury risk is a valid argument … why rush the kid to the bigs when you can make sure he maintains his health for a year in AAA? I love the kid, but like I said, its best to be patient and methodical. He did kick ass in the AFL, so that’s a really good sign.

                • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                  Lastly, I don’t get your point about keeping him in AAA to “maintain his health”. What, is there some special oxygen in the surrounding area of these Triple-A ballparks that will make him less likely to get injured than if he were pitching in a MLB ballpark?

                • Ryan S.

                  More like just see if he’s up to the ask of pitching that many innings I guess, “maintaining” might be a bit of a euphemism. There is no reason to rush him as a prospect at this point, especially when we have more of a need for an innings eater like Pettitte than another up and comer like Hughes. I agree that he’s just as likely to stay healthy as anybody else at this point, but he does have a track record of injuries. I wasn’t trying to make a big deal out of it, its just one factor for why Hughes is best off in AAA and as a #6 starter for one more year.

              • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                He did not break his toe in 2004, he stubbed his toe and the Yankees took an extra cautious approach and sat him down. Also, what pitcher in the history of this game has never had a “sore shoulder”? So, like Manimal said, it is not accurate to call him “injury prone”, he had an unexplained rib injury this past season, and a hamstring injury coupled with an ankle injury during the former’s rehab process.

                The fact that he has had basically zero issues with his throwing arm is what makes his injury history nothing to be concerned with. People are really making it out to be much more than it should.

                • Manimal

                  Amen.

  • Shamus

    Wells…

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      You’re a true wordsmith.

  • Januz

    I do not think Andy is a lock to return. Unless you are an elite player, you are in trouble, and will not get what you want, and his price may come down, below $10m, and it may be too late, for him to return, if the Teixeira or Lowe option is available (That is why they did not offer him arbitration).
    We have already seen the AFL suspend operations, NASCAR cut back, INDY-CAR, cancel their Detroit race, and who knows what is next with the NHL (Will there be a New York Islander season in 2009-2010?). I would sign quickly if I was Andy, because the offer may be gone real soon .

    • Ryan S.

      Cashman, who plays things very close to the hip, just stated recently he wants Andy back. Its not like its a secret, the door is wide open for Andy. Everyone FA is waiting on us until we officially declare we’re done feasting on the market, because until then, we drive up the price. Basically, we can take our time and wait him out without missing out on anything.

    • Proud Yankee

      The reason the Yankees didn’t offer Andy arbitration is that they would have had to pay him at least $14m and they wanted to low-ball him at $10. He has always been the one they depended on in a clutch situation, and to offer him $10m is an insult. They should compromise between the $16 and $10 and offer him $13…..That is halfway for both.

  • ryan

    Best thing that can happen for hughes is pettitte comin’ back…He’ll get that full year in AAA needed all along. He’ll be able to work on the stuff he has to work on without the pressure of bein gin the majors. I think hughes would be just fine as the 4th starter but he doesn’t have the innings and another year in the minors can only help polish his skills.

  • Hawkins44

    Put Joba in the 8th and move Hughes into the #5 slot….a no brainer…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

      Yes, it takes someone without brains to reach such a conclusion.

    • ryan

      Joba is gonna be an ace starter. If he can’t handle the work load then he will become the setup man. That about sums up the plan for joba. One thing the yankees have are good BP arms and a couple of them profile as future ML setup/closers. Mark Melancon is knocking on the door and there’s no reason to thinik he wont be successful. Bruney is another guy who could step up and close as well. Rehabbing options include Homberto sanchez. Since there is plenty of depth and Joba can always go back to the BP, he should without a doubt be a starter.