Basically, Pettitte can earn $4.5 million in performance bonuses and $2 million in roster bonuses. The deal is structured in way such that the southpaw would have earned the full $12 million in three of the last four seasons. The only exception was 2008 when Pettitte threw only 204 innings. The bonus breakdown is as follows:
- $4.5M in performance bonuses: $0.5M each for 150, 160, 170 IP; $0.75M each for 180, 190, 200, 210 IP
- $2M in roster bonuses: $0.1M for 120 days on active 25-man roster; $0.2M for 130 days; $0.25M each for 140, 150 days; $0.4M each for 160, 170, 180 days
As long as the lefty stays healthy and continues to rack up the innings, he’ll get his money. His baseline for performance is to pitch well enough to stay in the rotation with the kids knocking on the door.
Meanwhile, speaking of the kids, Mike Ashmore offers up a dissenting opinion on the Pettitte signing. Noting the ever-increasing number of young arms in the Yankee system, Ashmore ponders the depth question:
Yankees fans have to ask themselves…what’s more important, Andy Pettitte getting 30 starts or Phil Hughes/Ian Kennedy/Phil Coke/Alfredo Aceves getting 30?
If the consensus is that Pettitte is little more than a placeholder, why not use one of your numerous starting pitching prospects in a meaningful role at the big league level instead of picking up garbage innings as a long man in the Bronx or spending another year in Trenton or Scranton?
And how long before some of these players start getting frustrated with having to repeat levels of the minors?
Things are looking great at the big league level, and the minor leagues certainly look stacked as well. But at what cost?
I’ve struggled with this one for much of the winter and have no good answer. I was fine seeing Andy leave; I am fine seeing him return. With this incentive-laden deal, he’ll put pressure on himself to pitch. As long as the Yanks don’t leave him in there to the detriment of the young arms if the time is right to replace him, this one-year contract will work out for everyone.