Still no word from Pettitte


While the entire world waits for Cliff Lee to decide where he’ll spend (presumably) the rest of his career, another free agent lefty has a decision of his own to make. Brian Cashman told Marc Carig that he hasn’t spoken to Andy Pettitte since the winter meetings, which I guess is just three days. Feels like a lot longer though. I get the feeling that Andy’s decision will depend on Lee. If the Yanks land the former Cy Young Award winner, Pettitte will come back and try to win one more title. If not, he’ll hang them up and chill with the kids. That’s just my two cents though, don’t take it as gospel.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. DJH says:

    I agree with your prediction, Mike.

  2. Bryan L says:

    I really hope Pettitte chooses to come back regardless. Maybe Cash can convince him.

    As for Lee, half of me just wants to say “screw you”, the other says we need the guy on our team.

  3. theyankeewarrior says:

    Lee and Pettitte OR Joba and Nova?


  4. Bob Stone says:

    I agree completely Mike.

  5. “I get the feeling that Andy’s decision will depend on Lee. If the Yanks land the former Cy Young Award winner, Pettitte will come back and try to win one more title. If not, he’ll hang them up and chill with the kids.”

    I get the same feeling… Who knows if it was accurate, but I remember there being reports that Pettitte is waiting until Lee makes his decision.

    Honestly, if it’s true, it’s totally Andy’s prerogative, but it kind of annoys me. It’s like he’s saying ‘I’ll come back if the rotation falls into place, but if you lose that one other big piece you want I’m going to ditch you too and leave you short two starters.’ If the Yanks miss-out on Lee they need Pettitte all that much more, and that’s the situation in which he might retire? Not exactly what you want to hear.

    • Bob Stone says:

      I agree as a Yankee fan. As Pettitte fan, I understand that he’s been feeling like retiring for a few years and why hang around unless it’s worth his time and effort.

      • Yeah, I hear you. And I get what Andy’s thinking, obviously. As a fan of the team, though, it seems kinda weak.

        If it goes down that way it’s not like I won’t appreciate the years of excellence from Andy and all he has meant to the team, but on this one issue, it’ll leave a bad taste in my mouth.

        • Bob Stone says:

          Understood . . but I won’t take it as hard as you.

          In a way, the situation is like Jeter’s. Why should the Yankees pay him for what he’s done. He was paid. With Pettitte, why should he play (in possible pain) at age 38 for what the team has done for him in the past? They received value for the money spent (very good value by the way).

          I really want him back, regardless of Cliff Lee’s decision, but he has a right to move on in his life.

          The Yankees have paid him. He has performed. He is not obligated to save the team.

          Additionally, I think it takes tremendous motivation to go through the grind of the baseball season – off-season workouts, spring training, 162 games, possible play-offs. It has to be hard to get psyched to do that with a 38 year old body unless you are inspired to accomplsih something. Without the possibility of achiveing a World Series, I understand why Any might feel he just can’t do it.

          I certainly wouldn’t want him to come back to “go through the motions” out of loyalty just to end up having a sub par season. That does no good for Andy or the team.

          So it is truly a difficult decision for Andy, especially if Cliff Lee is not signed.

        • Lisa says:

          I’m thinking Andy will come back regardless. First off, he can’t let the game go. He’s been calling Cashman during this week.

          But I think 2 different reasons will surface:

          1) If they get Lee, he’ll be urged to come back for another title.

          2) If they don’t get Lee, he’ll come back because they need him even more.

          I wouldn’t be hard on him. He’s demonstrated that he loves the Yankees. And if he decides to retire (either way), I wish him happiness.

          • “First off, he can’t let the game go. He’s been calling Cashman during this week.”

            Has he? Apparently Cashman hasn’t spoken with Pettitte for a little while. Where did you read/hear that he’s “been calling Cashman during this week?”

          • Bob Stone says:

            From all sources I’ve read, Cashman hasn’t talked to Andy since the Winter Meetings started and I’ve seen no reports that Andy called him.

            • Lisa says:

              During the week as in winter meetings.

              It was reported during the winter meetings that Andy called to say he hoped they got Lee. Also, there were reports on MLB about how the yankees are holding money aside for Andy and can’t use it if they don’t know if Andy is coming back. (reporters always have to throw their 2 cents worth & cause issues ala CC’s opt out clause). Evidently, Andy must have heard this cause, shortly afterwards, it was reported that he called to say to not worry about him and do what they need to do.

              He didn’t call to say he was coming back. Didn’t mean to imply that. Just that he’s still actively listening to what is going on, which indicates he might still be tied to the yankees.

          • nick says:

            eleven million dollars is enough reason to sign for one more year…lee is making me mad..even cc didnt wait forever before making a decision..

            • Craig says:

              Sabathia waited a lot longer. He had an offer on the table very early in free agency (if not day one) and didn’t sign until the Winter Meetings.

              • BklynJT says:

                He didn’t sign until Cashman up’d his offer to 7/161, which was not the offer he received in the begging of free agency.

      • MikeD says:

        It’s always worth the time and the effort to pitch for the Yankees because they pretty much always have a chance to win.

        There is another counter-argument. If they lose Lee, they’ll need Pettitte even more, so it’s possible the other three members of the core four will ask him to come back because they need him one last time.

    • JimmieFoxx says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      That’s what happens when you don’t have suitable replacements on the team. You become dependable on veteran starters because the alternatives either aren’t there or aren’t ready yet.

  6. Big Bertha says:

    It’s as simple as this. No Lee, no WS. Pettitte likely knows we can’t get through Texas if they have Lee and we can’t get through Boston without Lee so he’s waiting like all of us on Lee’s decision. Last year’s AL playoffs were decided on who got Lee and this year will be too.

  7. Mickey Scheister says:

    Cmon Andy!! You still got some game in that glorious left arm!!! The thought of CC, Lee, Pettitte, Hughes and AJ is nasty! AJ really can’t get any worse than he was the last part of the season, can he? Now that Hughes has a full season of big league starts he’s prime to show his true potential without much pressure if the Yanks have 4 other solid starters. Make your mind up lefties! The Yankee baseball world is on hold until Lee and Pettitte decide what they wanna do!

  8. yanksfan81 says:

    i think it makes all the sence in the world for Pettite to wait to see what he’s coming back to. If we miss on Lee and don’t acquire a #2 capable starter it highly unlikely we win anything this yr.

    We get Lee or another good pitcher Pettite comes back and has a good season, plus pitches well in the playoffs and maybe WS he’s got a legit shot at the HoF. I think thats the only reason he comes back

  9. Not Tank the Frank says:

    From what I gather about Andy it seems to me like he would feel a certain sense of responsibility to the organization. I think he would come back for another year if nothing else than to help the team out if Lee doesn’t sign. That’s my gut feeling.

    • Bob Stone says:

      It could be that Andy has that degree of loyalty, but against that comes the history of elbow, shoulder and back problems and a stated desire to be with his family more. PLUS, he’s 38 years old. I’m guessing loyalty does NOT win out in that equation.

  10. OXXBOW says:

    I’ve read a couple of reports (Mike Silva is the one I recall) over the last two days that the Yanks may have quietly upped their offer for Lee to 7 / 175. If there is any truth to this and Lee still goes to Texas he will likely be leaving ~ 30 million on the table.

  11. theyankeewarrior says:

    I love (hate) the way that Cliff Lee has gone from a luxury to a necessity in a matter of 3 months

  12. Bob Stone says:

    If Andy is gone and the Yanks don’t sign Lee, things could look bad in 2011 but even worse in 2012. If CC exercises his opt out clause, 2012 could be NO CC, NO Lee, NO andy. What does that leave the team with for pitching? Hughes, Nova, some minor league talent finally maturing?

    It’s my understanding (not recently researched, and I would be happy to be corrected on this) that there are no super star quality pitchers hitting free agency next year.

    The Yankees have to sign Lee or they may have a few difficult years ahead.

    • bonestock94 says:

      If CC opts out and they don’t have Lee, he has all the leverage in the world and the Yankees will absolutely sign him for whatever he wants.

      • Bob Stone says:

        Most likely, they will. But there are other teams in the mix, so it is not an absolute certainty. For example, what if Anaheim gets tired of losing all these free agent battles to the BoSox and Yanks and really puts an all out effort to get CC to come back to where CC really wants to be geographically.

        I hope against hope, and really don’t think that scenario is possible, but you never know.

        • bonestock94 says:

          The Yankees don’t get outspent, I wouldn’t sweat it. If Lee doesn’t come it won’t be over money. And the team probably won’t be that screwed because they’ll trade for pitching.

          • Bob Stone says:

            Other teams don’t have to outspend the Yankees to win. Remember tht NYS, NYC, NY County taxes take a much bigger bite of the pay check than most other market areas. Plus, there is always the factor of geography and lifestyle choices.

            Nothing is guaranteed in favor of the Yankees, as much as I would like to believe that.

            • bonestock94 says:

              Oh, my intention wasn’t to say that the Yankees will definitely win, but rather that they can definitely retain CC if he ends up on the open market. And while I’ve read varying things from different sources, the tax differences shouldn’t be insurmountable to a wealthy team like the Yankees. They can just compensate Lee or whoever the difference.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      CC wouldn’t opt out in a desire to leave; he’d do it to get more money from the Yankees, and would succeed.

      • Bob Stone says:

        Possibly. But once you open the door . . .

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          I just don’t see why he’d come to New York, have a ton of success, and then leave after opting out, thus uprooting his wife and young kids, when there’s a 99.9 percent chance the Yankees would make the best offer.

          • Bob Stone says:

            All true, but I just remember how much the sports press kept emphsizing how much he wanted to be in CA. After a man has made so many millions, personal lifestyle choices move up on the decision tree.

            Overall, I think you are right, but screwy things can happen whenver that free agency door opens. That’s all I’m saying.

  13. Sweet Dick Willie says:

    I’m probably in the minority on this, but I don’t think Lee’s decision will have any impact on Andy’s decision.

    I think Andy’s decision will be based on how he thinks he will be able to perform.

    Last year’s injury kept him out almost half the season. Could he be thinking, “Man, if I was 28 I would have been back in 2-3 weeks.”?

    The body doesn’t respond at 39 as it did in the 20s.

    Andy has said several times that baseball is his job, and “a man works.” I think he just needs time to psyche himself up for the long grind that is a season.

    • Bob Stone says:

      I think he is evaluating whether he can get psyched up or not. I don’t believe Andy will come back unless he thinks he can perform well, with or without Cliff Lee.

  14. viridiana says:

    Would somebody please inform Mrs. Lee that the rude and obnoxious people who so bothered her in Yankee Stadium were charter members of Red Sox Nation?

    I have a feeling this continues to rankle her. And I simply find it hard to believe Yankee fans would vehave that way to the wife of a coveted player. Red Sox Nation, on the other hand, is devoted to nasty gamesmanship )as evidenced by the Ortiz jersey at the Stadium) and inspired by a + managment motivated by hatred and willing to do anything to get its way.

  15. OMG Bagels! says:

    In my opinion, Andy Pettitte can do and should do whatever is good for Andy at this point in his career. I can’t tell the man to go through the grind of 162 games, wear his body down more and lose time with his family for any reason (Lee or no Lee, shot at another WS or not).

    He weathered the steroid storm, the time in Houston, the ins and outs with the Yankees, the injuries, down years, options with incentives etc etc etc, with class and poise.

    Andy Pettitte is a class act and has given much to the Yankees over the years and kept the fan base well fed with wins and rings.

    I would really really miss Andy if retires and I would like him to come back just so that we could give him a big send-off no matter how the next season ends, but honestly I can’t ask more of Andy than what he’s already given and I hope he comes back, but if he doesn’t…a big thank you and take care to Andy.

  16. Jerome S says:

    Most pitchers don’t pick up the glove again until shortly after the New Year. I believe that Andy will start throwing again by then, see how he feels, and then make his decision.

  17. Teh Comp Pick says:


    Looking for two big lefties from the deep south with the desire to bring a 28th world championship to the Bronx.

    Playoff experience required.

  18. countryclub says:

    While Mike is probably correct, Andy could be thinking the exact opposite. Maybe he comes back if Lee doesnt come to NY because he doesnt want to leave the Yanks so thin in the rotation.

  19. DeportivamentePanama says:

    I think that Pettite will be back no matter if yanks can land Lee or not.

    He is using a goood negotiation strategy….of course if Lee decide for Texas the value of pettitte will be higher and he will ask for a lot of money.

  20. Betty Lizard says:

    Andy Pettitte often thanks God and his wife Laura in his interviews and he has also framed the discussion of his pitching in terms of “I’m a man and this is my job and this is the only job I’ve had as an adult”. He has a strong sense of loyalty and a strong sense of duty. All of that makes me take the contrary view to Mike’s. I.e., if the Yankees get Cliff Lee, Andy can breathe a small sigh of relief and retire. If the Yankees don’t get Cliff Lee, then Andy will feel duty-bound not to leave his team in the lurch.

    However, in the case of Andy, both view—return or retire—are right.

    (h/t to the poster who first postulated quantum Andy)

    • Bob Stone says:

      What does this mean – “(h/t to the poster who first postulated quantum Andy)?

      • Betty Lizard says:

        Put Andy in a box and then he can be both re-signed and retired.

        (a la Schrodinger’s cat. Still on my first cup of coffee and can’t remember the poster’s name who suggested this up a few days ago)

        • Bob Stone says:

          Thanks. I wasn’t familiar with Erwin Schrodinger. Thanks for educating me to quantum entanglement.

          Now that I know a little aobut it, once Schrodinger’s box (that is oblivious to the outside universe) is opened, only one physical state is possible. Either the cat is dead or alive.

          The Copenhagen Interpretation applies.

          Fun theory though. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if commenter TSJC posted the Andy in a quantum box idea.

          • Betty Lizard says:

            You’re welcome, Bob. Thanks to Google it was Robten who made the comment. He even got the umlaut in Schrödinger.

            It’s a small quantum world after all
            It’s a small, small quantum, quantum world

  21. DJH says:

    If I had to choose right now which player do I think is more likely to be a Yankee next year, Lee or Pettitte, I would say Lee. Who knows though, personally I wouldn’t be surprised if we got both, neither or only one of them.

  22. I get the feeling that Andy’s decision will depend on Lee. If the Yanks land the former Cy Young Award winner, Pettitte will come back and try to win one more title.

    I have a totally different take. If the Yanks sign Lee, Andy will feel like the team is fine without him and will me MORE likely to retire. If Lee stays in Texas, the pull of giving it one more year for the franchise and his teammates will be much stronger. Andy has proven to be a very loyal guy, and as Brian Cashman recently said he put family first, then team, then himself. Plus, there will be more money available if Lee doesn’t sign, so giving him guaranteed money won’t be an issue.

    • Just to add he has rings, he has loads of money, more of either won’t be decisive. I think it’s about the people in his life, both at home and at work. If they’re fine at work, then he can focus on his family.

  23. Icebird753 says:

    Andy will be back. I’m sure of it

  24. TJ says:

    Even if Lee and Pettitte come back the playoffs are not a lock with the other problems the team has, including age, lack of a bullpen etc. Lee would be the only significant addition to the same team. Its amazing that the team with the highest payroll for the past decade plus would only have one ring to show for it. Payroll was never an issues, it was how the payroll was mismanaged and how talent was misjudged. This is what has led to the desperation for Lee. Lee is certainly a talent but this isn’t Pedro or The Rocket, or RJ in their prime. This move would be another poor move (overpaying too many years) because of stupid moves that came prior. Maybe having too much money at their disposal has led the Yanks to toss it away without much thought, in an impulsive manner.

    Even though I am a longtime Yank fan, I admire how the Rays were able to build a good club from within. I think their dismantling is a good case for a salary cap.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      “Even if Lee and Pettitte come back the playoffs are not a lock with the other problems the team has”

      Sabathia-Lee-Pettitte-Hughes + elite offense = playoffs.

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      everything you said is wrong

    • pete says:

      Lee is one of the absolute best pitchers in the game right now, and has the pitchability/command to extend that dominance well into his late-30s, a la Mike Mussina. It’s certainly far from a guarantee that he will continue to be this dominant for the duration of a 7-year contract, but it’s awfully hard to see him falling too far with command like that.

      • TJ says:

        If his velocity drops, which it will in the non steriod era, his control will have to be Maddux type. his past two season of 12-9 (4-6 with TX) and 14-13 don’t suggest to me that he’s one of the elite pitchers in the game. His 6.94 WS 2010 WS ERA isn’t all that impressive either 0-2. Granted the other starts int he postseason have been great, but we are talking only about two seasons. Everyone acts as if he’s a seasoned playoff starter. Two years in the postseason is a good start, but he’s not 27.

        • bexarama says:

          Win-loss is the greatest statistic.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          As long as you’re citing win-loss record, you might as well have mentioned Lee’s 2-0 mark in the 2009 World Series.

          Lee’s playoff ERA is 2.13. He has 76 innings of postseason experience with 54 hits allowed, a .82 WHIP, 10.0 K/9 and 0.8 BB/9. If that’s not dominant, what is?

        • pete says:

          His control wouldn’t have to be Maddux-type. It would have to be Mussina-type. Which it is, if not better. His BB/9 this year was 0.76. He had a K/BB of 10.28, a FIP of 2.58, an xFIP of 3.23, and an ERA of 3.18. He was worth 7.1 fWAR this year. He is absolutely one of the elite pitchers in the game. I would say that right now he’s probably the fourth best, behind Halladay, Felix, and Josh Johnson.

          W-L records often deviate from the real story of a pitcher’s performance, often focusing instead on the performance of the offense or the bullpen. Lee spent half of ’09 on the Indians and half of 2010 on the Mariners. Just look at Felix’s W-L this year. He was barely over .500 on the year and I don’t think anybody doubts that he was the league’s best pitcher.

          • TJ says:

            He was 4-6 on A Rangers team that made the postseason, that wan’t a bad club. I think Pettitte is more important to the team.

            • pete says:

              Lee >>>> Pettitte. Period. There’s simply no possible way to argue against that. In absolutely no way has Andy Pettitte ever in his entire life been as good as Cliff Lee has been for the past three years.

            • pete says:

              You really need to just stop looking at W-L records altogether, because they’re clearly confusing you.

  25. PoG says:

    interesting reading this thread and everyone’s comments over the past week. Curious what the opinion really is going to be when the Yankees don’t get Lee?

    personally, I think these types of shenanigans are ridiculous. Since Lee was traded to the Rangers, both he and his agent knew there would be three teams seriously interested in his services. At this point, it is just silly to take this long to make a decision. But the longer this goes on the less likely the Yankees are to get him.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      The waiting drove me mad… you’re finally here and I’m a mess
      I take your entrance back… can’t let you roam inside my head
      I don’t want to take what you can give…
      I would rather starve than eat your bread…
      I would rather run but I can’t walk…
      Guess I’ll lie alone just like before…

      • PoG says:

        That is PERFECT……although I am not sure there is much roaming in Lee’s head which may be the reason this is taking so long (that and baseball needs a soap opera every year), there are a lot of zeros in these offers to consider.

      • theyankeewarrior says:

        Seriously, at this point, lets just sit back, jam out to some Eddie and wait for the Arkansadian to make a move.

    • TJ says:

      Lee will be staying in Texas is my guess and the Yanks will be glad he did. The other problems with the team and the mismanagement over the past decade should make way for Cashman to be fired. He should have been years ago. The fact that the team is in this situation is because of the player personnel moves that have been made and not made. Remember Roy Halladay? That would have been a move that made sense. I would also hve much rather had Santana over Hughes.

      • PoG says:

        I think Lee will stay in Texas also. I also think that in three years he will be “good” pitcher but not the effective pitcher he is and the Yankees will have millions to be happy about.

      • pete says:

        You do realize that Santana has been injured in each of the past three years, and is now firmly nestled in post-prime mediocrity (and certainly would be in the context of the AL East), while Hughes will be 25 next year, makes a quadrillionth of what Santana makes, and is coming into his own as a very good young starter? Not to mention the fact that not signing Santana gave the yankees the flexibility to sign Sabathia and Teixeira in the following offseason.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Yeah, it would make sense to fire a four-time championship-winning GM whose teams have missed the playoffs once since he took over in 1998. And Hughes was largely kept because Cashman felt he and Sabathia would be greater than Santana, which he was correct about. The plan all along was to sign Sabathia. One championship and two great seasons from Sabathia later, plus a solid first full year as a starter for young Hughes, and I’d say it has worked out.

      • bexarama says:

        Wow is the rest of what you say mostly irrelevant to the first sentence.

  26. JM says:

    A whole month gone, and still no word!

    /Zelda CDI’d

  27. EndlessMike says:

    who does Pettitte and Jeter think they are? Pettitte didn’t even play for two months last year and Jeter like always is overrated.These guys have shown there true clors this off season. Jeter for thinking he’s MVP player and better then he actually is and Pettitte for taking way too much time to make a decision.

    Either pitch in New York or spend the rest of your life farming with your kids.

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