The Yankees would like to bring Andy Pettitte back for another season in pinstripes, but they would like to do it on their terms and their money. Says Jack Curry in The Times today, the Yanks are trying to convince Pettitte to sign a $10 million deal.
What Randy and Alan Hendricks, Pettitte’s agents, are trying to do is to make sure their client avoids a pay cut. Pettitte made $16 million last season, one of the highest salaries in the major leagues for a pitcher, and his agents have stressed that he wants the same salary. The Yankees have offered Pettitte $10 million, and they seemingly have no immediate plans to improve their offer.
“We’d like to have him back,” General Manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday. “It’s come to the arena of trying to achieve common ground on money, which is easier said than done.”
Pettitte battled shoulder problems last season and ended up 14-14 with a 4.54 earned run average, including a 2-7 mark to finish the year. The Yankees believe Pettitte, who pitched a team-high 204 innings, can still be an effective starter, but they consider a $16 million investment in him to be too expensive.
Curry’s article, coming out less than 24 hours after the Yanks declined to offer the lefty starter arbitration, clearly shows why the Yanks didn’t want to and shouldn’t have offered Pettitte arbitration. Of dual significance is Pettitte’s clear preference to stay in New York and the Yanks’ desire to reduce his salary by over 35 percent.
With this offer on the table, had the Yanks offered arbitration, the Hendricks brothers surely would have accepted. Pettitte wants to be a Yankee for one more year and would have gotten a lot more money under arbitration than he will when the two sides eventually agree on their $12 or $13 million deal. It all makes sense now.