Since wrapping up their last big free agent signings, the only word out of Yankee camp has concerned Andy Pettitte. Through anonymous sources and speculation, the Yankees have tried to temper the veteran lefty’s expectations.
The team first made it clear that they were willing to move on without Pettitte. Now, as has been obvious since the get-go, word is that they want to bring Pettitte back but on their terms. We’ve been saying this all along. The Yanks would love to have the lefty to anchor the rotation in the four spot with the kids bringing up the rear, but they don’t want to do so for $16 million a season. I don’t blame them.
John Harper, writing earlier this week, shed some light on the team’s thinking:
After signing Mark Teixeira, the Yankees began whispering that Andy Pettitte might have waited too long to accept their take-it-or-leave-it $10million offer, and that they might just decide to move on without him.
However, a person in regular contact with Yankee brass said Tuesday he believes the club still wants Pettitte back and believes a deal will get done, perhaps as early as next week.
According to this person, someone in the Yankee organization was putting out that word as something of a scare tactic, knowing that Pettitte badly wants to pitch for the Yankees next season. “They just want him at their price, that’s still the bottom line,” the person said.
I predict a one-year, $12-million deal for Pettitte, and for the impatient fans, I urge patience. There is no need to wrap this deal up now, and if Pettitte doesn’t send for a few more weeks, it won’t be the end of the world. By the time Opening Day rolls around, this negotiation saga will be just a forgotten relic of a very busy Yankee off-season.