Caldera: Ball in Pettitte’s court

Open Thread: A one year 'what if?'
Manny and the Yanks, revised

Pete Caldera checks in with an update on Andy Pettitte and notes that the lefty’s future is very much in his own hands. He writes:

Is there any room for Andy Pettitte to re-up with the Yankees? Apparently. But a person with knowledge of the situation said that it’s up to Pettitte to initiate the discussion. If so, there might be a willingness on the Yankees part to take the offer from $10.5 million to $12 million.

It’s a little curious why incentives haven’t been floated as a way to get closer to a midway point between the Yanks’ offer and Pettitte’s $16 million salary last season, but that might only happen during a negotiation — and, by all indications, there hasn’t been much of a dialogue since Mr. Cashman went to Houston last month.

This clearly throws a little bit of a twist into the debate over who rejected whom. We’ve heard both that Pettitte had rejected the Yankees and that the Yankees were the ones who pulled their initial offer after Mark Teixeira signed. Caldera’s latest lends credence to the tale that Pettitte turned down the Yanks’ $10 million offer.

Either way, that part of this saga is just water under the bridge. It seems as though the Yankees are willing to up their offer to Pettitte as long as he comes back to them. They even seem willing to pay far more than the market would dictate for Pettitte’s services as well.

Considering the state of things, I’d say that it would behoove both sides to get this deal done. I’m going to stick with my prediction of a one-year, $12-$13 million deal. That’s where these negotiations are heading.

Open Thread: A one year 'what if?'
Manny and the Yanks, revised
  • gxpanos

    Cash: pick up the phone! Pettitte’s peripherals last year were fine! K’s up! bad luck! He’ll probably pitch better than last year! Either way, the innings would be a nice safety blanket! Blah blah blah!

    Lord, this freaking quagmire needs to end.

    Haha also I love how you guys always post one or two more things after the end-of-the-night open thread. That indefatigable blogging spirit is what brings me back here a zillion times a damn day! Lemme go to bed, it’s almost four!

  • JeffG

    I wonder if part of the “complicated” Cashman was speaking about after the Tex signing had something to do with the tax free bonds. The huge money swing for the Yankees as a business would obviously mean a benefit to their bottom line.
    Perhaps they are more inclined to sign him now that profits are guaranteed to be greater.

  • swedski

    Disagree. This is buisness and Pettite has a good offer on the table. I think the Yanks should have offered 8 mill and incentives up to about 12. Petite did three things last year:
    Made the Yanks wait (which they did out of respect for him)
    Stood behind him when he admitted stupidity
    Made him a fair offer after a terrible second half when they really NEEDED him to come through and he didn’t.

    As far as I’m concerned the Yanks have been fair and straight up with him.

    Give him till Tuesday to sign then go after Garland or Sheets or Martinez.
    Garland will eat innings,

    Although injuries are a question with Pedro and Sheets they would be cheaper than Petite and the return could be equal (or higher in Sheets case)

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      I’ll be interested to see what Garland signs for, because at this point of Pettitte’s career he’s somewhere between Lowe (4/60) and Garland. If Garland gets a 1-2 years at around 8-10 per, then Andy should be somewhere in the middle, which would be 12 mil.

      • Reggie C.

        Garland made 12 million in ’08, but his peripherals continued to weaken, and now he’ll likely have to take a contract exactly similar to the one he signed 3 years ago (3yr/29 million). Who would’ve thought that this offseason the three lefties would still be available…

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Any team will rue the day they give Garland 3/$29. He is not a good pitcher. Last year he had a WHIP of 1.5 and an ERA+ of 91.

          Looking at Garlands statistics should be enough to convince everyone (well, maybe not Joe Morgan) that wins are definitely not they way to evaluate a pitcher’s effectiveness.

          Garland won 14 games last year because he was on a very good team. Put him on an average team and his wins would reflect his horseshit peripherals.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    If the Yanks sign Andy at 12 mil, that will put them at 199 for the season. According to the info on Cots.

    Once again, they will wind up at 200 mil. Every off season, they say they want to cut payroll, and every year they wind up at 200 mil or thereabouts.

    BTW- I put Nady at 5 mil for 09, a raise over his 3.35 from last year.

    • Brian

      Why do you care? So many fans act like they have a personal stake in the Yankees’ payroll. It’s not like the Yankees are going to give us fans a portion of the cash they saved, or cut ticket prices for that matter.

      The Yankees went out and signed the top three available free agents this year, vastly upgrading our offense, defense, and starting rotation. They also signed a quality lefty reliever to an extension that should allow him to be an anchor in the bullpen for some time. They may not even be done yet.

      I’m so unbelievably sick of this argument.


      • tony

        They care becuase 200 mil – is probally where the yankee budget ends – so if you are at 200 mil – you probally wont have the flexblty to make another move if they needed to.

        With that said – I think pettite is worth the investment & i hope they come to an agreement.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        You missed my point completely. I was talking about the Yanks stance regarding payroll and free agents going into every off season, not the arguments fans have about whether it is too high or not. If the Yanks are comfortable with 200 mil, then I have no problem with it.

        The Yanks enter every off season claiming to want to REDUCE payroll, and some fans and media types buy into. But by the time spring training rolls around, it’s always the same. That’s my only point.

  • jonathan

    Let andy go
    save the money and give the fifth spot to philip!

    • paulie

      I could not agree more.

    • tony

      Phil hughes could very well get a spot (with any injuries) – but lets make him earn it.

    • JeffG

      I’ll be happy to see Phil pitch in the bigs but to rush him will be a mistake. I think our front office realizes this. Give him a cutter. Give him a better change-up and let him come up ready to win.
      Send him up now and you run the risk of him losing again and perhaps ruining his sense of confidence.
      One year to work on his craft could mean many years of brilliance. Patience.

  • Matthew

    I’m not sure he’s worth 12 – 13 million, I had him pegged for the 8 – 10 range. Let’s not to forget he was average at best in the first half and then brutally terrible in the 2nd half…

    • tony

      The yankees are a better team with him. They have ateam that is built to win – why not sure up the back end – I wouldn’t let 4 mil (the difference between 6 & 12) get in the way. In the big picture – pettite is the missing link.

    • Giuseppe Franco

      Give me a break. He wasn’t “average at best” in the first half.

      He was 12-7, 3.76 ERA, 1.28 WHIP on July 26th.

      Those numbers are far from average, especially in this division.

      We already know he didn’t have a great second half, but his shoulder issue had a lot to do with it.

    • JeffG

      You’ve got him pegged at 8-10. What did you have Lowe pegged at?
      – Get real man. Pettitte is worth more than 10, especially seeing it is a one year contract.

  • Manimal

    I dont think its worth it at this point.

  • Gary D.

    Somebody first better check Andy’s neck. So many line drives were whizzing past the mound heading for center field (or over it) in the second half of 2008 while he was pitching that he may not be healthy right now. I’d sign him for $10 million with incentives. Andy is a nice man, knows what to do, has a good head on his shoulders, knows what the Yankees expect of him, knows what the franchise expects of itself and, last but not least, has been there when the Bombers were the toast of the town and of all of baseball.

  • jim

    the more i think about it, the I like the idea of pettitte.

    there was some sort of rumor that pettitte was floating a 1 yr at 10 with a 2nd year option for 10 with a 4 buyout.

    that would be fair. lets get him for 09 and 10 and win 2 WS with him

  • Old Ranger

    If the Yankees sign a pitcher just because he eats innings…that is dumb! Andy (if healthy) can eat innings, we know but, would we be getting the 1st half or 2nd half of his numbers? The idea of Andy as the #4 is good, if we get the real Andy…not the 2nd half aberration we had last year.
    I admit, I haven’t looked at his internal numbers, his 2nd half may be bad luck on the same # of balls put in play…or, who knows! But the one thing to stay away from is making a bad signing, just be cause we WANT an inning eater.
    I would feel fine, turning the innings over to Aceves/Phil…they sure have nothing more to prove in AAA.

    • Whozat

      Probably something between.

      Decent peripherals + healed shoulder + depth to allow him to skip some starts = probable solid year from pettitte

    • JeffG

      I think last year showed that Phil has things to work on – No? He’s young. He’ll get better. Ultimately, I think he might be better served trying to learn new pitches outside of pressure cooker of the new Yankee stadium.
      This year the need to win is going to be greater than ever. Why ask a kid to work on pitches when every game is going to be so important?
      More than likely if he is going well we’ll see him anyways. Joba will eventually need to cut his innings and hopefully Phil is at the top of his game when he’s called up.

  • ortforshort

    People who say that it’s a business so you can treat a player who has been with you for years, loyally and successfully, like a bag of crap – don’t understand baseball business. Unlike most of the rest of the economy where workers have lost all of their power, baseball teams must still try to attract their players. It doesn’t go unnoticed when a team treats a loyal veteran like garbage. I understand that the Yankees made three big free agent signings this year – but they also treated Posada and Rivera very well last year and projected a positive image, overall, towards their veterans. If they start reversing direction, that would be bad for potential future signings. I remember how it was when no one wanted to come to New York in the late eighties thru the mid nineties. It wasn’t until Torre created a player-friendly atmosphere, cancelling out the Steinbrenner affect, that the Yankees were able to sign free agents again in the late nineties.

    • Old Ranger

      Sorry but, Joe T. had nothing (or very little) to do with it. Yankees WINNING had more then a little to do with it. Plus money talks, add the two together and you have players knocking on your door.
      Joe T. was the right guy at the right time! He took over a team that Bucky Showalter (Spelling) and Cash built and ran it the way it needed …at that time.
      The Yankees have not been disrespectful of Andy at all, they offered the going rate for a pitcher with his numbers and their needs. Why pay $16mm for a pitcher with his numbers when they could go after a FA, paying much less?
      In Posada and Mos’ case, we needed them badly, Andy is not a big time need…he is a long time Yankee, on the way down. Why pay more then needed to give him the opportunity to pitch in the new Yankee stadium? He is the one that stated he wanted to pitch in the new home this year, then retire.
      Is he worth $10/12mm? Maybe, maybe not, it depends on his shoulder and if the 2nd half was just bad luck, bad shoulder or less skill sets.

    • JeffG

      Varitek? Youk-d-bitch seemed to be happy to sign an undervalued contract.

      Free agents know they get overpaid to be Yankees, I do not think future signings will be an issue.

      I hope they’ll sign Andy but I’m wouldn’t be surprised to find out the Hendricks brothers aren’t making it easy to settle in the middle. Negotiations take their course and I still see Cash and Andy on the same team until it is proven otherwise.

      • Ben K.

        Varitek? Youk-d-bitch seemed to be happy to sign an undervalued contract.

        Incorrect. Youkilis wasn’t a free agent. He signed a deal to buy out his arbitration years that probably guaranteed him more money than he would have made in arbitration. That’s not an undervalued contract at all.

        • JeffG

          They also have club option at 13 mill – I do believe that would have been a FA year.

          I hear what you are saying, but at the same time my main point is that the Sox are doing the same thing we are, with their captain nonetheless. Players don’t seem to be reluctant to sign there.

          Outside of the Sux there are plenty of examples of teams that pay what they think is right for a player or loose them. Padres, Braves, jump right out.

          Was Lowe second guessing his signing on? No, because he was offered more money than he would have got anywhere else. Same will be the case when we sign FAs in the future.

  • Doug

    my concern is if we do sign pettitte in the next few weeks, is he gonna be the same unconditioned guy who showed up last year b/c of the whole steroid thing. it’s b/c of that he wore down the 2nd half of last year (or so the story goes).

    • Whozat

      Pretty sure it was that he pitched through shoulder issues to keep the team from having to use igawa, not that he was under-conditioned.

      Also…do you think he’ll just be sitting around til he signs a contract?

      • Doug

        Not sure. But he was always an off-season workout machine. If he’s not doing that because he’s unsure if/when he’ll pitch, not sure I want him

  • steve (different one)

    Pettitte will be back.

    this article is the first one that indicates a softening of the Yankees’ stance.

    that’s the first step to a compromise.

    i’ll be surprised if he’s not back for $12M now.

  • Hawkins44

    Clearly their budget is a 200 million, I have heard that the YES Network gives them almost 150 -200 million/yr already so they are fine. Give Pettitte 12 million and move Joba to the bullpen….


    Mo is the closer and Joba sets up…. that’s a team that could win in October.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Oh no you didn’t….

  • Rob

    Hawkins44 hit it right on the head. Get Pettitte to sign, make him the #4 pitcher, and MOVE JOBA TO THE PEN!