Yanks ‘cautiously optimistic’ Pettitte will return


The “Will He or Won’t He?” saga concerning Andy Pettitte‘s future in the Bronx may be drawing to a conclusion. Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Yanks expect Pettitte to decide “within days” if he’d like to return for one final season in uniform. The club, he says, is “cautiously optimistic.” Pettitte’s return would certainly soften the blow of losing out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, but it’s probably foolhardy to pencil Pettitte in for 33 starts next year. His body has had trouble handling the rigors of a 162-game schedule, and he doesn’t heal as quickly as he used to. Still, Pettitte’s return woud be a welcome one.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Jonathan says:

    Ok, so now we just need to go out and find a solid #2 type pitcher…

  2. JK says:

    After LeBron and Lee, I refuse to give into speculation until a player signs.

  3. The Three Amigos says:

    Andy deserves a proper send-off. And let’s face it the rotation is much better with him there.

  4. Plank says:

    Players almost never retire when they still have stuff. Mussina a few years ago is the only example I can think of that retired after a really good season.

    Almost every player ‘retires’ because he can’t find a team that will sign him or due to injury.

    • Plank says:

      I should say they retire due to not finding a team that will pay them enough to make it worthwhile for them. I’m sure every team would take Pedro at league minimum for this year.

  5. CBean says:

    Please come back Andy! We will get you new children!

  6. RL says:

    If he returns, this will be the best news of the offseason. Adding a solid pitcher is always welcome.

  7. JSquared says:

    Anytime you have CC and Andy pitching 2 games a piece in a 7 game series, you can always win. Lee or No Lee.

  8. Xstar7 says:

    The Yankees really need #46 right now.

  9. LawStudent says:

    Come back and retire on top Andy!

  10. MikeD says:

    If he comes back, be interesting to see what he signs for this year. He has substantial leverage if he wants to use it, and frankly, the Yankees have been getting a bargain with Pettitte since his return. Even last year when he was injured for more than two months, he still delivered 2.3 fWAR. His fWAR dollar value (for those who believe in it) has exceeded his real $$ cost every other year since returning to the Yankees. His $11.75 million deal last year is on the low side. He should be making in the $15 million-plus range, and since he’s going year to year limiting the Yankees exposure, he should have been demanding a premium above market value. Tack on what he means in the postseason, and he is way underpaid. He could ask for $18 million right now and make a strong case.

  11. theyankeewarrior says:

    We NEED us some Andy

  12. STEVIS says:


  13. nsalem says:

    The only two pitchers with 240 wins or more to retire after good years were Mussina in 2008 and Albert Goodwill Spaulding in 1877. I have no doubt that Andy will be out on the mound pitching against the Tigers on April 2, 2011.

  14. Bryan L says:

    You guys think Nolan Ryan’s in on this?

  15. nsalem says:

    On a scale of 1 to 10 how much leverage does Pettitte have right now?

  16. Avi says:

    If Pettitte comes back this team is at least as good as it was last year (assuming they bring back or replace Kerry Wood). They’re definitely favorites to make the playoffs. Almost anyone will have a better year than Vazquez did last year, so I don’t see how the rotation isn’t better. To make any pitching move out of desperation would be foolish.

    • nsalem says:

      and AJ will win the Smith’s Funeral Home Comeback Player Of The Year Award

      • MikeD says:

        The Yankees had two pitchers with ERA’s north of 5.00 last year, when run scoring was down. Not pretty. It also won’t happen again, and it’s unlikely Pettitte (if he returns) will miss two plus months. So, yes, the rotation should be stronger as long as age doesn’t really impact Pettitte, or some injury hits the team. And the good thing about Hughes is he is a candidate for a break-out season. He seems one adjustment away from really elevating his game on the MLB level.

        • Avi says:

          I agree with you on Hughes. I don’t feel confident about Burnett improving though. The good thing is that if Burnett is a disaster again there’s no way they let him throw 150 or so innings again.

  17. bexarama says:

    Eff you MLBTR for confusing “Pettitte” with “Prior” and Tweeting “Yankees announce Pettitte deal” :(

  18. JK says:

    The Yankees need Pettitte far more than Pettitte needs the Yankees. Andy doesn’t need the money. He’s a five time World Champion. His place in NY Yankee lore is firmly in place. He’s a legend, and he will get his own bust in Monument Park along with the other members of the Core Four.

    It’s the Yankees that need to make the effort to bring him back. He’s the best possible FA option for them out there, and they need to show him the love, the respect, and the money. They cannot treat this like they did with the Jeter negotiations. They cannot be Cavalier.

    • nsalem says:

      I think he needs the Yankees just as much and as long as he is a winner and healthy he will continue to pitch. He has the rest of his life to be retired.

      • JK says:

        He doesn’t need the Yankees. He’s been on every Yankees WS team, and he lead the Astros to the WS. He’s very wealthy, and he’s not 100% healthy.

        If I were Cashman, I would be doing a heck of a lot more to coax Andy out of retirement.

        • nsalem says:

          Great pitchers almost always go out with losing records. Seaver, Carlton Palmer, Gibson, Spahn, Marichal the list goes on and on. Nobody except Mussina has ever just walked away. Whitey Ford had six rings and was on 10 or 11 pennant winners. He was banged up in the end, but still had to experience failure before he quit. History shows that great athletes just don’t quit on top. Unless you know him personally and he has told you, I don’t know how you can state this. Your theory is not in agreement with fact.

  19. love andy, but... says:

    “and he doesn’t heal as quickly as he used to”

    hgh maybe?

  20. DJH says:

    I’m predicting retirement, but I really hope I am wrong. I love Andy and would love to see a farewell tour.

  21. Yank the Frank says:

    With Andy we still have a very questionable rotation. Without Andy, its just worse.

    • Kiersten says:

      With Andy, we have basically the same rotation we had this year.

      • Plank says:

        Thank you for this. We have basically the same team as last year with a lower payroll (so more chances to plug holes during the year.) Last year’s team was the 2nd best team in the AL. The other two contenders for that title (Tex and TB) got worse this offseason and two other teams (MIN and BOS) can contend for the title.

        The Yankees will be fine next year. Here’s hoping Mo, Jeter, and Arod can keep away old age a few more years.

    • nsalem says:

      You are being way to negative. Look at the Sox. Beckett had a year as bad or worse than AJ. Lackey is below the league average as is Dice K.
      They have two excellent young pitchers but their 3,4 and 5 don’t scare
      anybody. We have Beckett’s number and if Lackey does not improve they will have some serious issues being stuck with tose guys for the foreseeable future, We will be just fine.

      • Brian says:

        Couldn’t agree more – a lot of things happen during the 162. The Yanks have a few guys who should have bounce back years and have the flexibility to make in-season moves. Something our buddy Theo does not.

        • Avi says:

          They have the same team and about $15M left to spend (with Pettitte back) to get back to their 2010 payroll amount. About $20M in dead weight came off the books in Vazquez, Nick Johnson, Chan Ho out of the Park and Rady Winn.
          They’re clearly in better shape right now.

      • RuleroftheBones86 says:


        This times infinite!

        I wish some of the excellent baseball minds on this site could tell me why the Red Sox are considerably better than us with their current pitching staff.

        Their rotation after Lester is not exactly stacked with four aces like the media sadly preaches constantly. Buckholtz 2nd full year is an unknown familiar to our Phil Hughes in the sense both are capable of putting up front end quality stats (a solid #2 pitcher) or could fall back to middle-end quality (an above average #4 pitcher) so I call that fan preference.

        Then, we arrive at Mr. Overrated himself, Josh Beckett. Seriously go look in Webster,its updated… I’ll wait ;-)
        Well, sorry about that fib but I’m beyond peeved at the never-ending praise for a lucky individual who has managed less than three great seasons, and none in three consecutive seasons, in his whole career.

        He might improve enough, like AJ, but to the point of being a feared front-end pitcher,again- i doubt that very much. And please let me emphasize this epic problem, his utter futility against our lineup anywhere, anytime. Face it, we own him to the point where he dreams of 6 inning/ 3runs, as the closest he’ll ever come to dominated us again. This intimidating fact gives us a considerable edge.

        And I know you’ll bring up Burnett but at least AJ has show he can dominate his tormentors in a season more recently than Josh has in this heated rivalry.

        This guy is the key for Bosox being a legit threat to anyone because Lackey, Wake and Dice-BB are not even close of being imposing pitchers anymore and thus I’ll leave you chicken littles with the potential terrifying Lester-Buckholtz, average pitcher, sightly below-average pitcher,poor pitcher to be terrified of that.

        Personally, I am not worried one bit of that rotation and do I have to delve into their laughable bullpen? So what does that leave them with, a vastly better lineup? Um, I don’t think so …., especially if you gaze at their bottom third which is a significant edge to our guys.

        So, in summary, I ask you if Andy resigns, how should we at the Pinstripe Universe be any more worried about our rivals up in New England? Please, don’t hold back. Although, I hope it doesn’t begin with a glowing report in how valuable the sightly more valuable Car Crawford is over Gardner or how A-Gon blows away our Text man at first.

  22. Sick Nwisher says:

    Andy should tell the Yankees to “go shop around”


  23. OldYanksFan says:

    If I’m the Yankees, I give Andy a 4 mth contract for $10m, starting June 1. I just don’t think Andy wants the full grind. 4 months of a healthy, rested Andy might give us almost as much as a full season of Andy.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Good approach.

      He can get 15M$ easily, or maybe even 18M$ for another year.

      Seems funny on how the FO has treated him throughout his Yankee career.
      1) Young gun, well developed high potential (1995)
      2) Almost traded mid-season when he struggles mid-season (1996)
      3) Redemption in G5 1996 WS against Smoltz
      4) Leaves to Houston, Yankees get Brown (after 2003 WS)& Pavano.
      5) Returns in ’07 with much respect, has high $ player option for ’08, Yankees FO says they are not worried as he’ll only take it if he is healthy & wants to pitch.
      6) Pettitte takes the ’08 option, doesn’t quite live up to the contract. FO doesn’t really persue him, he signs for 5M$ (or so) for ’09 after much haggle.
      7) After superb postseason ’09, FO gives him 12+M$ for ’10.
      8) Killer ’10 season, FO gives him time and doesn’t seem to persue him again as Lee means everything. If Lee signs, we all know that there would be little-to-no Pettitte $ available.

      I hope there is a #9 for ’11 as he gives this team a much needed boost.

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