Pettitte unhappy, Astros speculation restarts

Heyman: Yanks fielding OF offers, comfortable with Damon
The RAB Radio Show - January 8, 2009, Episode 9

The lede in Ken Davidoff’s latest column says it all: “Andy Pettitte is extremely unhappy with how his negotiations have gone with the Yankees, and the lefthander might be softening on his opposition to rejoining the Astros.” Once Pettitte rejected the Yankees $10 million offer, this development became inevitable. Pettitte hails from Texas and spent three years pitching in Houston, so the speculation makes sense, at least on one level.

The problem is that the Astros have not been inclined to spend this winter. In fact, as recently as Tuesday, Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle noted that “the Astros are essentially done shopping and unloading.” Drayton McLane has said the same himself. How, then, would the team go about freeing up the more than $10 million Pettitte seemingly desires? Ortiz’s colleague at the Chronicle, Jerome Solomon, explains:

Don’t be distracted by the reports that Pettitte told the New York Yankees he would not work for $10 million this season. That’s in New York. We’re Texas.

A quick check of the cost-of-living in Houston on the site shows that $10 million in Manhattan equates to only $4,054,415 in Houston. (And it is cheaper in Deer Park where Pettitte owns a home.)

Throw in New York state taxes versus the Republic of Texas and heck, a man as rich as Pettitte could work for a couple million bucks and one dollar in Texas, donate the couple mil to charity — keeping the dollar — and feel better about himself than he would taking the Steinbrenners’ money.

Sorry, forgot to factor in the hometown discount: cha-ching. Got change for a dollar?

First off, the telling line in Solomon’s little spiel is the second sentence of the first paragraph. That’s Texas. This is New York. Is there really any need to go further than that?

I can only think this is a tongue-in-cheek remark by Solomon, because it’s so patently ridiculous. He can’t seriously think that Pettitte wants more than $10 million from the Yankees solely based on the cost of living. That would make him, uh, not so smart. Pettitte wants more than $10 million because he feels he’s worth more than that. That number won’t change because of taxes and living costs in Houston.

Another insane Solomon quote: “Wouldn’t you sleep a lot better if you made up for being injured in Houston by returning for a modest salary this coming season?” Excuse me, but don’t the Astros have Mike Hampton on their team? Ah, if only he went back to the Braves to make up for all the time he spent on the DL.

Oh, and I’ll keep laying it on. Yet another: “Money isn’t that important to Pettitte.” If money wasn’t that important to Pettitte he’d be on the Yankees roster right now. At least that’s not an obscured fact. Check out an earlier paragraph:

If Pettitte was so willing and felt he had no choice but to take performance-enhancing drug because of an early-season injury, then he ought to be willing to play for a discount rate this season to make up for it.

Uh, he did that for the Yankees. He got injured (it was 2002, IIRC) and took HGH to return quicker. He might have done it with the Astros as well. Of that I’m not sure. But, again, why such a Houston bias here? He played just three years there. He played most of his career, and won all of his rings, with the Yankees. Not that I need to tell you guys that.

Unless the Astros open the purse, Pettitte will not be returning to the team he pitched for from 2004 through 2006. He’s not going to return to a team he reportedly did not enjoy playing for, at a discount, just to spite the Yankees. And if he does, well, I think we can wrap up the discussion about his integrity.

Heyman: Yanks fielding OF offers, comfortable with Damon
The RAB Radio Show - January 8, 2009, Episode 9
  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    I can see him in Dodger blue as part of the Yankee west crew…


    • rbizzler

      Except for the fact that he is reluctant to uproot his family yet again. And to move to L.A. of all places. If he truly is the family man he is reported to be, he ends up back in NY where his family has (reportedly) enjoyed their life in Westchester.

      • Mike Pop

        I’d uproot my family for 3 million more.

        • rbizzler

          Maybe you would but Andy has already made 108 million in his career and has repeatedly said that ‘it is not about the money.’

          I am not privy to the details of Mike Pop’s career as there is no At least that I know of.

          • Mike Pop

            Hehehe, apparently it is about the money if he keeps holding out. Unless he is considering retirement more than we all think but from what we have heard from the media….It is about the money.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              FWIW, is up and running. It’s a gay porn site.

              • Mike Pop


                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I keeed, I keeed.

  • Relaunch

    Although Andy has been one of my favorite Yankees, this situation has really soured my perception of him. I agree with most people that its good if he is here as a luxury, but that spot can also be given to Hughes/Acevees/etc.

    What I don’t get is all the BS Andy has said. In September he said it won’t be about the money. Last year, when he was deciding if he wanted to come back, he again said it wasn’t about the money since he said he has already enough.

    This situation is all about the money. If Lowe can’t get a deal better than 12 a year, what does he expect?

  • Jake H

    Stupidest article I’ver ever read.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You must have missed Corky Simpson’s article on his Hall of Fame ballot.

  • GG

    so he rather play in houston for what like 7 mil?

  • Mike Pop

    Ya, this guy is right. Pettitte can’t live in NY for 10 million..

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I got a family to feed. That’s insulting.

  • A.D.

    Looks like you found a news source worst than the Post

    • E-ROC

      Ah, the Post is consistently bad where as this reporter or paper print decent article. This article is one of the worst I’ve read ever.

  • A.D.

    This is almost as good at this Sox rant showing their great “success” with buying-low–Boston-s-Buy-Low-St/3621082

    Aside from Ortiz they either didn’t really buy low, or the player wasn’t that much of a success.

    • Mike Pop

      I like this from that article

      Based on last season, if Bard can merely return to a .700 OPS, he will be one of the 30 best offensive catchers in baseball.

      Wait, how many teams are there in the MLB ?

      • Mike A.

        Instant classic. Hall of Fame worthy.

        • Mike Pop

          Ha, when I read that. Oh man, I was like is this guy for real, really?

    • Mike A.

      Another pitcher (Brandon Lyon), whose Blue Jays team gave up on him after a 2002 struggle, became a stabilizing bullpen force …

      Lyon had a 1.56 WHIP & 4.12 ERA in his 49 games as a Red Sock. Bullpen force?

      • UWS

        Sure. A stabilizing force that could be counted on to suck reliably whenever called upon. Duh!

        • Mike Pop

          The writer really does suck

      • Jake H

        You know it!

        • Arin

          Bullpen farce!

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Alex Speier = Scott McClellan

  • KO

    I don’t understand the nickle and diming of Pettitte. If for no other reason than players on other teams see the shabby treatment a long time Yankee is receiving and that will play into their future decisions on coming on board to the Yankees. People do notice these things. Its one of the reasons that the Yankees had such a hard time signing quality free agents in the eighties and nineties in New York until Joe Torre’s presence made the place welcome again for outside players. No one wanted to work for George. It would be nice if the current crew were not to repeat that mess.

    • Ryan S.

      Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira say hi.

    • A.D.

      Ever think that Pettitte is nickel and diming the Yankees

    • GG

      Bro, Hes 36 and not that good anymore! We dont care how players in the mid 30s feel about coming to the Yankees, thats the point: getting younger…the current situation is just hard because yea he is loved in NY and the yanks need another SP

    • Relaunch

      They aren’t nickle and diming him. They paid him 32 mill the last 2 years to be a middle of the rotation starter.

      Yeah, I’m sure Moose, Giambi, etc all came to NY because of Joe Torre. That, and the most money offered compared to any other team.

  • Bob

    This behavior by Pettitte is even more disturbing after Giambi accepts a 19 million dollar pay cut to play in Oakland and Pettitte cannot accept that 6 million dollar paycut.

    • Nady Nation

      As big of an Andy supporter as I am, and I’m still on board with bringing him back FWIW, I definitely agree that Giambi’s signing hurts Andy’s credibility the most.

      • Mike Pop

        Giambi’s press conference was funny. Beane said some funny stuff. I’ll always cheer for Giambi. Seems like he was a good dude.

        (Yes DBHOF, I know he did PED’s)

        • Nady Nation

          My comment was not really in support of Giambi, more of a knock on how realistic Andy’s asking price is. I’m not the biggest Giambi fan either, along with DBHOF.

        • Reggie C.

          I think Giambi comes close to repeating his ’08 power numbers. I doubt his BA will improve, but that doesn’t matter much. Cali living should keep him fresh.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            That rightfield porch is about 30 feet further back in Oakland than it is in the Bronx. And Jason’s no longer in his 20’s, nor chemically assisted.

  • jeremy

    Not nickel and diming, just being an ingrate. The Yankees made an offer that is more than fair. Petitte wants to stomp his feet for some reason.

  • JohnnyC

    I betcha Solomon would leave Houston in a New York Minute to take some of that evil NY Times money…even if he wouldn’t feel all that good about taking it. But, then again, I’m sure he’s not all about the money. Ha!

  • kel varson

    Do we actually know these are Pettite’s comments regarding the 10 million dollar offer or is this just the agent speak doing what agents typically do to get Andy the best offer possible?

    I like Pettitte and am also puzzled as to why he hasn’t taken the offer. It seems to me after the HGH and a subpar season, that is about what he is worth. Come on Andy you are hardly in your prime. 10 million is still good money. I wouldn’t budge on the price. If he doesn’t want to come back sign someone cheaper and or use one of the up and comers.

    • whozat

      “this just the agent speak doing what agents typically do to get Andy the best offer possible? ”

      Personally, i think it’s this. This reads like fairly transparent (and not particularly adept) negotiating through the media. They floated the Dodgers thing early, no one bought it. They floated the mystery-3-year-offer, nobody bought it. Now, they’re raising the hometown-team specter.

      The Yanks are countering by making noise that they’re not sure they want to pay the 10 MM. They’ve upped the ante by leaking rumors that they might need to salary dump an OFer just to afford even the 10 MM they offered originally…or that they need to reduce the offer.

      It all fits into a negotiating-through-the-media framework, in my mind.

      • jsbrendog

        up next on, we spotlight other agents and how they epic fail to the big borasinator

      • Nady Nation

        Agreed wholeheartedly. I think it’s a lot of posturing on both sides, and I think the Hendricks are just trying to get their client the maximum amount of money they can, even though most fans don’t like to believe this.

  • JohnnyC

    Clemens wasn’t his BFF for no reason.

  • Ed

    Cost of living differences mean almost nothing when you’re talking about 8 digit salaries.

    If living in New York versus Houston makes a substantial difference in Pettitte’s income, it’s because he’s choosing to live a different lifestyle. He’s not going to notice the difference between a $15 steak in Houston vs a $20 steak in New York. You can’t chalk up the difference between living in a house in Deer Park versus living in Bobby Abreu’s $7+ million apartment to “cost of living”.

    As to the tax difference, as Ben’s article yesterday day pointed out, if Pettitte plays in New York, he’s paying New York income tax on 42% of his salary. $10m * 42% * 6.85% tax rate = $287.7k. So it’s less than a $300,000 difference in taxes. When someone is bickering over $10m vs $16m, $300k isn’t a factor.

  • Bruno

    Rangers make sense for Andy?

    • Mike Pop

      I would’nt think so.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        In The Ballpark at Arlington, his ERA would be Ponsnerian. He has a legacy to consider.

  • Mr. Pappageorgio

    Andy Pettite is acting like a cry baby bitch. He’s ruining his legacy. If he goes somewhere else, it won’t be fore more than 10 million and that will make him a fraud. He either accepts with the Yankees or retires, or else he’s a liar and a phoney.

    • Mike Pop
      • Joseph P.

        EXACTLY what I was thinking.

        • Mike Pop

          I’ll do that to Pettitte if he goes to Houston or another team.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Mr. Pappagiorgio, would you like your usual table tonight?

  • Reggie C.

    I still think Andy Pettitte should get a take-it-or-leave-it offer of $12 million. Everybody’s assuming that the Yanks’ offer is hardlined at $10 million. Give him till Sunday to decide.

    If he rejects … we’ll have some drama entering ST for the 5th spot.

  • JohnnyC

    Cheer up, Andy, you can take that 3 year deal instead.

  • Manimal

    Its ashame that fangraphs doesn’t have the value and actual salary for pitchers like they do with hitters.

  • Evan in NYC

    We aren’t short arming Pettitte here, so I feel no remorse for letting him go. If he thinks that offering him another $16M contract for sheer nostalgic reasons he is mistaken. Those days are over, and good riddance.

  • Bo

    What happened to that 3 yr 36 mill offer?

    His agents are inept.

    If they would have split the difference and met at 12 this would have been done in Dec.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      If they would have split the difference and met at 12

      Splitting the difference would have required meeting at $13 mil, but I guess that’s just splitting hairs.

    • JeffG

      I wouldn’t be so sure with the Hendricks. I bet Cash has no patience with their shit after the beating he took with Clemens.
      Really do hope we can work it out though.

  • Januz

    I am really sick of Pettitte (Or is it Petitte, as in small?), I don’t care if he goes to the Dodgers, the Astros, or even the Mets. He used to be my favorite player. Now, with his greed, lying, cheating and snitching, he is heading into the Arod/Manny territory of guys I really don’t like.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    It’s probably just the bot’s algorithms at work, but I think it’s AWESOME that virtually every RAB post about Andy Pettitte is sponsored by an ad for “Underage Affair: Get The Full Story on Clemens-McCready Affair Scandal NOW!

  • toad

    I don’t actually believe the cost of living in Houston is 40% of that in Manhattan, certainly not at the level of millions of dollars in income. It’s conceivable, (but dubious), that a $100K income in NY is like a $40K income in Houston, but that hardly scales up. Is Pettite going to spend 100 times as much on groceries and utilities as someone making $100K?

    • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

      I don’t think his salary is about the “cost of living” in a specific city. Andy feels he pitched the 2nd half of the year with a bum shoulder because the Yankees couldn’t afford for him to go on the DL – and the Yankees knew it. His reward is being called a greedy bum by everyone…

      Give him 12 mil, or 10 with easy incetives to make more. Have a press conference w/Cash saying how he wanted to be a Yankee…we wanted him to be a Yankee so we worked it out.

      Everyone is happy…and we give Pettite the same type of chance Moose got….to go out on top.


      • toad


        You’re probably right about the salary issue.

        I was just trying to point out that Solomon’s argument about cost of living is ludicrous.