Once more unto the Andy Pettitte breach

Top 5 6 all-time Yankees CFers
Musings on the payroll

As Spring Training inches ever closer, Andy Pettitte, as we all well know, remains the last real question mark for the Yanks. Meanwhile, Pettitte is running out of options.

To wit, we’ll start with Ben Sheets. As Joe noted last night, Sheets’ new medical report doesn’t really change the equation. All signs point to a Texas landing for the Brewers’ former ace. Cross the Rangers off Pettitte’s potential list.

Meanwhile, across baseball, the story remains the same. In Flushing, the Mets have extended an offer to Oliver Perez. The control-plagued lefty remains Minaya’s top target. The Astros are “pretty well set” without Pettitte and can’t really afford him anyway, according to owner Drayton MacLane. The Dodgers will soon land themselves Randy Wolf.

So that about wraps up all of the other teams tangentially related to Andy Pettitte this off-season. All signs, then, lead to the same place to which they’ve been pointing since the start of the Hot Stove League: Andy Pettitte can either work out a deal with the Yankees or with no one.

With other options closed to him, I’d have to believe that Pettitte, if he wants to return to the Majors this year, will figure out a way to take a pay cut and pitch for the Yanks. As Joe predicted a few hours ago, I too think Pettitte will resign before too much time is up. After all, pitchers and catchers report in just three weeks.

Top 5 6 all-time Yankees CFers
Musings on the payroll
  • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

    I seriously have to ponder the thought that there is another potential shoe to drop in the whole Pettitte HGH Roger Clemens circus or something. I am not saying that is the only possible reason for what is going on here but I think it could be something…

    Maybe not though.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Man, you’re like a pitbull with the PED’s thing. You refuse to let any tiny little morsel of that story go from your clenched jaws.

    • History Teacher

      Please don’t sign him. I’m so angry with Andy for being greedy. I used to love him. I can’t believe he’s being like this, especially after how we stood behind him last year with the HGH thing. His best pitches have clearly been thrown. 16 million for a .500 pitcher…no thanks. Let’s take our chances with Sheets, or one of our young guys. Pettite has really let me down.

  • ryan

    they’ll sign him…soon he’s gonna wanna get this thing ova with and get into his routine.

    • Jay CT… Ben Sheets biggest fan

      It always shows how intellegent your post is when you use vocabulary words like “ova.” I didn’t believe they were going to sign him, but now I changed my mind after reading what ryan said

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      • ryan

        you serious? what a fight to pick.
        must be able to answer anyone smart on here, must be a big change from the real world.

  • Steve H

    If Pettitte doesn’t want to take a pay cut, and thinks he can perform, sign the $10mil deal with incentives that can bring him to $16mil. You know, pay for performance. If he can prove he’s worth $16mil, then he can earn $16mil. I wouldn’t give him a dime over $10 mil guaranteed, there’s no market out there for him, especially for that price.

    • ryan

      that’s probably gonna end up being the deal.

      • Mike Pop

        I really don’t understand why this hasn’t happened yet. The Yanks are real serious about lowering their payroll though. They have been saying that it will be lower than last year and all. So if they go over last years payroll they would look stupid. Maybe they are really trying to move Nady in order to sign Pettitte. Which guy is more important to the 2009 Yankees: Pettitte or Nady?

        • Ryan S.

          As it apparently seems that the Yanks still have the $ to offer Pettitte a $10.5M offer, moving Nady seems like a moot point. Even before we got Teixeira, we weren’t budging from that offer. Regardless of how much payroll flexibility we have, it looks to me like Andy wouldn’t get anything beyond what we already have on the table. Having Nady (or Swisher) off the bench AND having Andy Pettitte in the rotation is what the Yanks are interesting in having, and I would be thrilled if that’s the case.

        • ryan

          I guess it all depends on how successful each can be. If swisher is terrible or damon hurts himself then nady would certainly be more important but as of now… Pettitte is more valuable. Pettitte could also have a rebound yr and be more of an impact than just a #4 starter. I have a feeling Nady will come in handy if kept. I’d love for them to keep Nady and sign pettitte, but bc of his salary demands the yanks might not be able to do that and go into 09 with a better team.

          • Mike Pop

            I agree that Pettitte is more important now. With our offense, we can live with Melky being the 4th OF.

  • totouchtoneterrorist

    WEll unlike last year Pettitte doesn’t have to rush to sign because he won’t be in any Mitchell report.

  • Paulie

    I hope the Yankees just say goodbye and good luck to Andy. They can give the fifth spot to whoever does best in Spring Training and then use the other guys to fill in for Joba every once in a while and also to replace whoever won the fifth spot if he is struggling. They will also be saving 10 million dollars.

    • Giuseppe Franco

      Sure, they’d save $10M on Pettitte, but he could also add as many as 5 wins to their 2009 total as opposed to the trio of Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves.

      That number may increase if someone like Burnett goes down for any significant time and they’d be left with Hughes and Kennedy started two of every five games.

      Is saving $10M really that important given the strength of this division?

      I sure as hell don’t think so.

      • Mike Pop

        Would he put his name on the line for Andy Pettitte if Pettitte wasn’t a must? I don’t think so. He is freakin Giuseppe Franco.

        • Ryan S.

          I lol’d

      • kSturnz




    • Mike Pop

      I would like to think we could do that and be a-okay but I do think Pettitte or an innings eater who can provided a little above average pitching or just average pitching is a must. Who knows, god forbid CC goes down. AJ on the DL is probably a 60% chance unless he is serious about being able to keep his body healthy and being able to pitch. Joba on a limit. Those are 3 top pitchers. While I do think Hughes is going to pitch well this year, I do think Andy on a 1 year deal is a must. I would take that over Sheets to be honest.

      • Ryan S.

        As of right now, I’d rank CMW > Joba, AJ.

        • Mike Pop

          Ya my bad, slipped my mind there. I was thinking strikeout guys. But obviously I made a mistake with ranking Joba over him. I would think AJ is a better pitcher than Wang though.

          • Ryan S.

            Its a worthy debate right now, AJ vs Wang – but that’s only because Wang is coming into ST as a rehab player. If Wang has a representative season in 2009 (and barring any freak base-running injuries), he is likely our #2 SP come October.

            Technically speaking, if AJ Burnett were to pitch at the top of his game consistently for the entire season without any injuries, he is probably as good or better than Sabathia. But I feel stupid just saying that because there is no reason, at all, to believe that would happen.

            • Mike Pop

              Yep, we are coming from the same point of view.

              • Ryan S.

                No doubt.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      I was going to disagree with you, but since you put your thoughts in all-capital letters, you convinced me. Clearly, you’re right and any who disagree are wrong.

  • NJYankee41

    It seems pretty certain that the Yankees are only interested in someone for a one year deal. Perhaps Pettitte’s standing point hasn’t been the money but the years. Maybe he’s interested in a two year deal and the Yankees simply are not willing to block Hughes and company beyond 2009. It just seems like it’s been too long for the only hold up to be a million or two. Just a thought.

  • Ryan S.

    It boggles my mind to see all these anti-Pettitte people around. He would stabilize the rotation more than a lot of people seem to realize. I agree he isn’t worth $16M, especially not in this market, but that’s a whole different conversation. Andy completes this team and legitimately makes our #1-9 starting pitching depth one of the best in baseball. The difference between Hughes/Aceves/IPK/Johnson being our #6-9 guys on the depth chart (not necessarily ranked in that order) instead of being our #5-8 guys is massive.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I wish I could complain about a $10 million salary…

    • Mike Pop

      To “work” half of the year, ha. But I can understand where he is coming from. It is a pride issue. He feels like he is better than Dempster and he is going to get paid less. He probably has a problem with that.

      • 27 this year

        that reminds me, wow Dempster got a good deal signing early.

        • Ryan S.

          That’s quite ironic. Everyone was saying “Oh he gave the Cubs a discount!” – which he probably was in his mind – but hey, its an interesting example of loyalty actually paying off financially.



    • Ryan S.

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • Drew

      Don’t speak of such. lol



    • Mike Pop


    • Stryker


    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      Did you just call somebody a faggot, but abbreviate it?

      That is so gay…

  • Drew

    Not that I’m a stickler towards PED’s. I just think his ship has sailed. First of all how can he mentor or be a role model for Philly, Joba, even the bum Kennedy. He’s used drugs against the league’s policy and now, even when HIS team supported him through it, he’s holding us hostage. If Andy would just have said Yes or No we’d already have our 5th starter. After all, they are suppose to be reporting to Tampa in a few..

    • kSturnz

      AP is really not holding anyone hostage. at this point, The organization and I are completely psyched for PH/AA/IPK/Coke? to break camp as the 5th starter ((4th if you think naming Joba 5th will help him limit innings that much))

  • http://amonthoffundays.blogspot.com Phil in LA

    I think this is what Cash wanted to do with Mo and Po last year before Hank blinked: just make an offer and wait it out. We might need to get used to this with Yankee FA’s.

  • gianthinker

    From Buster Onley—->

    Which brings us to the curious situation that has developed with Ben Sheets.
    Over the past five seasons, the 30-year-old Sheets has an ERA of 3.24; his ERA has never been higher than 3.82 in any season, and was as low as 2.70 in 2004. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has never been worse than 2.87 to 1. Hitters have never had an OPS against him, in any season, higher than .705.

    When he has pitched, he’s been significantly better than Silva, Batista and Suppan.
    Now, his injury history has been the primary factor undercutting his market value. He has managed to throw 150 innings in just three of the past five seasons, and some teams have looked at his medical records and are concerned about his arm. After Sheets strained a right forearm muscle at season’s end, he probably lost his chance, once and for all, of ever getting a deal comparable to a five-year, $82.5 million contract.
    But Sheets’ market value seems to have pulled under, in the string of modest deals signed by other veteran pitchers, such as Brad Penny and John Smoltz. Some general managers say privately that Sheets will be fortunate to land a two-year, $20 million deal.
    Think about that: In 2008, Sheets made 31 starts, threw 198 1/3 innings, posted an ERA of 3.09 while pitching in Milwaukee’s bandbox, held opposing hitters to a .390 slugging percentage, started for the National League in the All-Star Game, struck out 158 while walking just 47 — and in an industry that provided a $48 million deal for an innings-eater like Silva just 13 months ago, Sheets might be looking at a deal for less than half of that.

    There will be days of regret for some teams in 2009, borne out of the low-cost winter market — days when club executives will look back at the low-dollar deals being made now and wonder: Why didn’t we do that? There will be teams that will be trading prospects for starting pitchers to fill holes in their rotation.

    If Sheets stays healthy, he is probably going to be a high-impact pitcher for a salary much less than that of his peers — Roy Oswalt, Carlos Zambrano and CC Sabathia, among others — and there will be contenders left to wonder whether they made a mistake in not snagging Sheets.

    It looks like he’s going to be a great bargain for somebody.
    If the Mets pass on Sheets we HAVE to look at him. If we can sign him for 2yrs/$20MM or less we NEED to try!

    • Ryan S.

      I would be fine for the Yanks coming up with the highest 1 year offer Sheets has on the table, but I would feel uncomfortable giving him anything more than a club option for 2010. As much as the Yankees are always a WIN NOW team, I would be very hesitant to in any way block Phil Hughes from pitching in the big leagues in 2010 (though I’m all for him being in AAA in 2009 and using him as our #6 starter).

    • Troy

      sign Sheets. Simple and easy, just do it.

      • kSturnz

        Sheets and Hughes have relative upside over Pettitte and Garland

        But Hughes will be cheaper than SHeets…

        But depth is always good…

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Did you just say the word “Garland”?

          Smack yourself right now.

          • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            He meant Judy.

        • Troy

          I’ll put it this way:

          Sheets is almost confined to hitting the DL at some point. But I’d rather have the depth of guys like Aceves and Kennedy than have Hughes at #5 and Aceves/Kennedy as depth in that case.

          Starting a farmhand in the #5 spot would cut into the Yankees pitching depth, whereas Sheets (and Pettitt too, for that matter) would be more conducive towards building depth.

  • Jonathan

    I still think we’ve got the 3rd best roster in the AL East. Going into the season as-is, hoping for the best out of whomever our #5 guy may be is not the way to compete with a young, deep team like the Rays. Pettitte would shore up that back end and allow the kids to spot start their way into the 2010 rotation. Ryan S.’s point about depth is spot on.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I still think we’ve got the 3rd best roster in the AL East.

      I think there’s virtually no way to look at who we were last year and who the Sox were last year, and add in the additions we made and the bouncebacks we can expect plus the subtractions the Sox made and the regressions they can expect and not come to the conclusion that we are clearly the better team than they are.

      I’ll agree that there’s an argument to be made for Tampa being in front of us (although I disagree.) But the Rays and Yanks are clearly #1 and #1A, and the Red Sox are clearly #3. All the Brad Penny’s and John Smoltz’s and Rocco Baldelli’s of the world can’t add up to Tex, CC, AJ and Swisher plus better campaigns from Wang, Posada, Matsui, Cano, Joba, Hughes, etc. etc.

      1) Yankees (tie)
      1) Rays (tie)
      3) Sox
      4) Jays (barely)
      5) Orioles (barely)

      • http://www.YouTube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

        But… the red sox have the MVP.

        • Bryan

          Also their game is all about the grits and glory. All the Yankees play for is money.

          Red Sox–All about the organization
          Yankees–All about the $$$ and nothing else.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Good points. Allow me to revise:

            1) Red Sox
            5) Rays

            Orioles, Blue Jays, and Yankees all fold in shame and forfeit the season.

    • Ryan S.

      Not that its any team’s preferred methodology of gaining such a great rotation – and a great team in general, but the Rays ate dirt for so long that they finally struck gold. They made great organizational decisions and clearly prepared their young pitchers for the labors of the big leagues. They were patient and methodical with their young superstars (and they got Matt Garza who came from the Twins, another organization that seems to have a knack for developing youngsters the right way). The Yankee team needs to do the same exact thing, except we do not have the, for lack of a better word, “luxury” of sacrificing today for the sake of tomorrow. The Yankee organization is based on winning NOW, year in year out, so its a tough balance between ensuring an extremely competitive team at all times without sacrificing or prematurely using the young talent that we are developing, as having young homegrown players with high upside is in itself an essential part of the win-now strategy. We have far and away the largest amount of money we can use to score free agents (and even that costs draft picks given that we almost never go bargain hunting) and this more than fulfills the need to constantly maintain a winning product, but at the same time, we do need to keep that same patient, methodical approach to our young guns that teams like the Rays, Twins, or Red Sox do.

      Organizational depth is so important – giving Hughes an extra year to develop is a big plus for our future and present, as having a guy with that much upside as your #6 starter is a tremendous benefit which shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Bruno

    Pettite’s just pissing my unemployed-ass off at this point.

  • Zack

    he’ll resign and just use the old “family considerations” excuse as a reason why it took so long. but the real question is will his shoulder pass a physical? havent heard any reports on it but it obviously effected him in the second half.

    “If Wang has a representative season in 2009 (and barring any freak base-running injuries), he is likely our #2 SP come October.”
    Wang is a #2 for a season, for a 5game series i think everyone wants AJ’s ability to dominate a team as a #2. just think, if you’re down 2 games would you rather have Wang or AJ pitching?

    • Zack

      should be “if you’re down a game”

    • Drew

      depends on how the season goes, im hoping for Wangers first 20 win year, He was on his way last year until he became a track star in Houston.

  • rangers1314

    Gammons is reporting that Wolf, Garland and Looper are all receiving basically the same offer, 1 year/5 mil plus options and incentives. I just dont understand why cash doesn’t move on from soap opera andy and just bring in Wolf or Garland (I personally, have always been a huge Garland fan). I’d much rather have Jon at 6mil than Andy at 10-12.

    • Mike Pop

      And 3-2-1….here comes why Garland sucks.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Jon Garland is the opposite of Katie Holmes topless.

        • Steve H

          bu, bu, bu, but he won 14 games!

  • Hanky Panky

    Quick question:

    Assuming Pettite decides to swallow his undeserved pride (considering last years performance) and join the Yankees, whose to say he’s even in any shape to pitch effectively? I think its pretty reasonable to asusme that Pettite’s offseason workouts havent exactly been grueling, considering he’s on the verge of retirement and without a 2009 contract.

    That said, can anybody say “De Ja Vu, 2008”?

    The same exact crap happened last year when Pettie was “distracted” from that silly Mitchell report and HGH scandal. And how did Andy respond??? By having one of the worst years of his career and completely bombing in the second half (most likely due to his body breaking down as a result of poor offseason conditioning).

    Do we really want to relieve this??? The same exact crap is going to happen all over again – only this time, its going to cost us 10-12 million rather than 16. Yipee!

    Thanks but no thanks. Tell Andy to hit the bricks and sign Sheets to an incentive laden deal.

    – Hank Steinbrenner

    • Steve H

      I would take Andy’s 2008 for $10 million, no question. What his 200 league average innings would mean for the rest of the staff would be immense.

      • Ryan S.

        Andy’s 2008 performance should’ve netted him a better ERA, and if we weren’t struggling to stay in contention during the 2nd half we could’ve given Pettitte a couple games off to let his soreness heal up and he’d have put up even better numbers.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You raise a good point.

      I’d imagine, though, we’d give him a physical before signing on the line, though. If he looks out of shape, no dough.

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