Apparently, “you snooze, you lose” is as good a philosophy in the crazy world of baseball economics as it is in real life. Unfortunately for Andy Pettitte, he might be learning this lesson the hard way.
Peter Abraham, citing “several different people” who I’m assuming have more authority than, say, his parents or nephew, believes that the Yanks’ signing of Mark Teixeira could lead to the end of Andy’s days in the Bronx. He writes:
Pettitte has been sitting on a $10 million offer from the Yankees for a while now, believing he deserves a salary closer to the $16 million he made last season. But unless the Yankees are able to trade one of their extra hitters, there may be no room for Pettitte.
Signing Teixeira and fellow free agents Damaso Marte, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia will add roughly $65 million to the payroll in 2009. That’s about $20 million less than the Yankees have coming off from 2008 and they would like to keep it that way…
Or maybe they’ll just sign Pettitte and keep all the hitters. What’s another $10 million at this point? But as of last night, the team seemed prepared to move on without the left-hander.
For weeks, the Yankees have denied every impending signing. They were supposedly never in on the Teixeira negotiations, and for weeks, Abraham and the other Yankee beat writers have accepted the Yanks at their words only to be burned a few days later.
In my opinion, the situation with Pettitte is just the same. The Yankees probably do want Pettitte back, and as Anthony Rieber writes, he probably will be back in 2009. But they want Pettitte back on their $10-million terms, not Pettitte’s $16-million dream. So if the Yanks’ sources leak to the beat writers that maybe they don’t really want Pettitte back anymore, Pettitte may be inclined to take the Yanks’ last best offer. If he doesn’t, then the team moves on with Phil Hughes, Al Aceves and Ian Kennedy. Worse things have happened.
When all is said and done, I’d put my money on Pettitte’s returning to the Bronx for one last hurrah, but I don’t think either side is in much of a hurry to wrap that deal up any time soon.