Andy Pettitte and 2013

Dealing with Ivan Nova
Feinsand: Yanks considering a demotion for Joba
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

When Andy Pettitte decided to come out of retirement earlier this year, I think most of us believed he was returning for this season early. He would get that last little bit of competitiveness out of his system and ride back off into the sunset come the winter. Pettitte was brilliant after returning to the rotation (3.22 ERA and 3.40 FIP in nine starts) and seemed to be penning one hell of a swan song, but a one-hop ground ball fractured a bone in his left leg put everything on hold in late-June.

The now 40-year-old left-hander suffered a slight setback during his rehab but otherwise remains on target to return to the team in September. Even if he’s unable to return to the form he showed earlier this year and instead reverts to the 2008-2010 version of himself (4.09 ERA and 3.90 FIP), Pettitte will be a rotation upgrade and a clear Game Three starter in the postseason should the Yankees go on to clinch the AL East crown. Having another southpaw in the rotation for the stretch drive will be a big help.

That’s all 2012 stuff, however. Prior to last night’s loss in Chicago, Pettitte — who has been traveling with the team during his injury rehab — hinted that returning to pitch in 2013 has crossed his mind.

“It seems like things don’t work out like you envision them in life,” he said. “I figured coming in here that I would pitch this year and I would fully exhaust myself of whatever I had left in me as far as for baseball or whatever. And as of this moment right now, I want to pitch more right now than I did when I first came to the big leagues … I’ll go home and again talk to my family about it and pray about it and I’ll just do what I feel is the right thing to do. I definitely can’t tell you right now that I would say there’s no way I’m going to play.”

That’s far from a definite “yes I’m coming back,” but the thought of pitching next season has clearly crossed his mind. I suppose another setback could change things in a hurry, or heck, if the Yankees win the World Series he might decide to just hang ‘em up and walk away a champion. I remember reading an interview when Pettitte first decided to come back where he said that his family pushed him return — his kids are teenagers now and they wanted to see him pitch. Perhaps the family element is the smallest of obstacles, who knows.

Either way, the Yankees will surely welcome Andy back with open arms if he wants to return. Brian Cashman admitted to offering him a one-year deal worth $10-12M back in December, and there’s a chance he’d be willing to make that same offer for 2013 as well. That might mean the Yankees will have to decide between Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda, but that’s something we can discuss at another time. It seems clear that the injury has bothered Andy in the sense that he’s not satisfied with how this season has played out, and that may mean the comeback extends into 2013.

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Dealing with Ivan Nova
Feinsand: Yanks considering a demotion for Joba
  • DERP

    Would people be okay with CC, Hiroki, Andy, Hughes, Phelps to start the year next year? Then you would have Nova, Pineda, and Banuelos as the next group if someone slips up/gets injured.

    I kind of want another established guy in there to start.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      As a starting five? That’d be a very strong five to start the year, with some very nice depth in the pipeline. Wouldn’t have one bit of an issue with that.

    • Jose M. Vazquez

      I certainly wouldlike a rotation like that. We really don’t know if Kuroda is going to come back or Andy for that matter. In that case you hope that Pineda can pitch well and Nova can be straightened out. Of course, I’d like to see Banuelos also in 2013 ( if the Mayan calendar is wrong) but that would be at the end of the season. Just kidding about the Mayan calendar.

    • Kosmo

      CC
      Kuroda
      Pettitte
      Hughes
      Phelps

      Kosmo likes it !

      I´d consider going after Edwin Jackson and/or Jake Peavy, I doubt the Pale Hose picks up his option at 22 million.

  • Eddard

    Andy should come back. He’s certainly got enough left in the tank. And who knows, if Roger pitches well for the Skeeters maybe the two will be reunited in pinstripes next season. Andy is an upgrade over 4/5th of the current rotation. Freddy won’t be back. Nova should be traded for whatever we can get for him. So we go with CC, Andy, Hiroki, Phelps, Hughes. Not a bad rotation.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      Guidry looked great during Old Timers Day. Fuck it.

      Leave Sterling Hitchcock at home, however.

      • Rich in NJ

        Why even confine it to living pitchers? ;)

        Anyway, given Pettitte and Mo’s injury situations, the Yankees may be able to get some discounts, if they want to come back, and spend the more money elsewhere, like on young position players.

    • 28 this year

      Selling low on Nova is a pretty bad move imo. I think he shouldn’t be in the rotation but unless its a good deal, I wouldn’t be desperately selling him. He’s still got potential. He increased his strikeout rate and has ability. His velocity is up. Right now, he needs to spend time working on command, he could very well be a strong starting pitcher. Its just a matter of giving him time to develop.

      • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

        I think teams are smart enough to see through the regression, though, and would say they can get him right. The upside is there. If they wanted him badly enough, maybe the price isn’t as low as thought.

        I’m not advocating trading him but, especially if the team really is high on Phelps, dangling him or the free-agent-to-be and see if anyone really takes the bait isn’t the worst idea.

        • Laz

          For the right trade I would do it. But I certainly would not sell low on Nova. Yes he is imploding, but he is still only 25. He has struggled, but for one thing he has been healthy and is at 160 innings. Work on some things with him on the offseason and have him come back and compete for the spot in spring training. It’s funny, most were talking about him as the #2 in spring training and now they want him dumped. And I was saying that he shouldn’t be kept as the #2 but was less pressure on him towards the back end.

    • vnymfk

      Yea lets trade nova with his stock at an all time low great idea

  • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

    Athletes are stubborn goats, aren’t they?

    I just think “40 year-old comes out of retirement because he feels he’s still got it and winds up walking around the house in crutches within a few months. Not exactly what the kids had in mind…” as reason why he wouldn’t return, but it’s probably the complete opposite, isn’t it?

    Gotta love ‘em. You do what you think is best, Andy. I’m sure the team would welcome you back with open arms.

    • Darren

      It’s not like he’s on crutches because he fell and broke his hip or because he had slow reflexes. So, it’s sort of a non-issue. if anything, he was less stubborn than the average athlete in that he retired when he clearly had more in the tank after 2011.

      I am all for exhausting every last drop of ability before retiring. I have no problem with the Willie Mays scenario. When Mo finally starts to really slip, I’m totally ok with him becoming a mid-innings guy or a ROOGY. Fuck it, keep playing until they tear the uni off of you.

      As long as you have the money in the bank, who cares. Next 40 years are gonna be boring as dick as anyway, building churches and playing with the stupid kids who think a cutter is the emo girl in their homeroom.

      • Darren

        *more in the tank after 2010*

      • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

        Building churches?

  • DERP

    I kind of want to take a chance on Scott Baker next year. I’m assuming he would get a one year deal considering he is really injury-prone and coming off elbow surgery. I’m sure some team will guarantee him a starting spot though which I don’t think the Yankees will, so it probably won’t happen.

    • Slugger27

      ehh, the whole righty flyball pitcher thing…. of course if hes cheap and doesnt mind not having a guaranteed role, absolutely.

    • Laz

      meh, he really wasn’t any better than nova before surgery, and he has been hurt. Nova is healthy, just struggling this year. Let’s just hope it is a sophmore slump.

  • 28 this year

    I would love both Kuroda and Pettitte to come back. However, if it comes down to choosing one, I dont know who I would pick. Pettitte is the sentimental choice but Kuroda is probably the more durable and better pitcher at this stage. Tough choice.

    • Mike

      Why not bring both Kuroda and Pettitte back then trade Hughes for an Outfielder?

      • Kosmo

        You mean trade Nova and then some for an OF.

        • Slugger27

          well nova obviously has much more trade value than hughes. we’d be getting a much better player or package of players in return. its all give and take, but id rather keep nova and trade hughes and take the lesser player.

          • Ed

            Does he really? After how awful Nova has been this year, I wouldn’t expect him to have much trade value.

            • Laz

              Hughes only has one year of team control left, vs 4 more years of nova. That is probably why he is assuming he has more trade value. I think that hughes will still be the better pitcher (he is only 1 year older than nova, yet still people see nova as the young rookie, and hughes as old and terrible.)

              • 28 this year

                the years of control is the big difference and it is a huge difference

              • jjyank

                I think they might be mostly even. Hughes has an edge of likely being a better pitcher, Nova has the team control edge.

              • Ed

                Yeah, I get the years of team control. It’s just that I’d rather have 1 year of an average-ish pitcher than 4 years of a guy in the conversation for worst pitcher in the league. I guess in the end Nova’s value comes down to how much you weigh his 2011 vs his 2012.

      • Slugger27

        it sounds good in theory but who would be available? hughes is a decent not great pitcher whos going to make what? $8M plus for one year before free agency? what type of player could we get for that?

        • Joey from Jersey

          A crappy one?

  • Nathan

    CC, Kuroda, Pettitte, with Hughes/Pineda/Nova fighting for the last two spots?

    IMO Hughes is a #4 or #5 pitcher who shows flashes of being a better pitcher but can’t be consistent. Same for Nova though with a lower ceiling. Pineda, we don’t know what he’ll be at this point.

    CC, Kuroda, Pettitte anchoring the top three spots is a pretty darn good front. Considering Andy wants to come back, is money the issue?

    • Rich in NJ

      I think Pineda should start the season in AAA building arm strength. I don’t want him in another competition coming off of an injury.

      Phelps, however, should be in any rotation competition.

      • jjyank

        I think that’s what will happen. Plus there’s the whole free agency thing.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    pettitte has got to come back in 2013, i think he will. maybe he can start late again

    also, i am going to citi field tonight for the first time for the exciting mets/rockies matchup. other than shake shack, any places that i should go to for food? Or anything, in general, that i should check out? i am sitting on the field level in section 134. got the tickets for $19 a piece. it is easy to complain about ticket prices at ys, but i rather complain about that than the performance of the team

    • Chris

      They have a pretty decent beer garden out in center. I went last year and they had some micro-brews that were bought out by Inbev (Redhook and Goose Island most notably). Certainly better than what I’ve seen at NYS.

  • vin

    It’s almost as if the Yankees will have TOO MUCH starting pitching next year.

    Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    Wait, why do the Yanks have to decide between Hiroki and Andy next year?

    I thought the $189M budget was for the 2014 season?

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      good point. if hirok keeps up what he is doing, i would think there will plenty of other teams that will offer him contracts, maybe 2 year deals. i wonder how high cashman goes to keep him. it seems hirok has settled in well, but i can’t see him giving the yanks too much of a discount

      • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

        Yeah, I’d see if Hiroki was open to another 1 year deal, 2 would be my absolute max with him.

      • Hoss

        Bartolo, You are hereby prohibited from posting for 50 days. Signed, Your friend Bud at MLB.com

    • Ed

      Sure, but they’re probably aiming for $210M or so in 2013 like they have been for a while now. There will be a bunch of arbitration raises, Cano and Granderson get a few million more each when their options get picked up, and not a ton of money coming off the books from free agents.

  • blake

    Bring all the pitchers that want to.come back back…..even Freddy so long as its one year

  • Wayne

    You could get Lowe cheap too!

  • Frank

    Setting aside the issue of whether Pettite or Kuroda return next year, I think it’s premature to A)give up on Nova so quickly or talk of trading him and B) elevating Hughes to one of the 5 starters next season. We all know Hughes has issues as well. He’s far from a sure thing in terms of consistency or even being on the roster next season. To me, both Nova and Hughes are pretty much in the same boat. It just so happems now Hughes is the better of the two, but that could change over the next few weeks.

  • jjyank

    Bring him back. Andy Freaking Pettitte. That is all.

  • Endlessmike

    You can’t offer Andy $10 million again.He’s been too injury prone.They should offer $5 million or tell him to retire.We don’t have to always over pay.

    • jjyank

      Well now we’re reaching back to 2010 here. Getting hit with a comebacker doesn’t make one “injury prone”.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Still, 21 starts in 2010, 0 in 2011, only 9 so far in 2012.
        By all means try to bring him back, but it would be foolish to expect him to make, or pay him to make, a full season’s worth of starts. Maybe a base salary in the 3-5M range with incentives based on games started that would allow him to earn in the 10-12M range based on games started.

        • RetroRob

          Yeah, he was on the DL all season in 2010!

          Yet the point is fair. The Yankees should not guarantee him the same money they would a pitcher like Kuroda, who has a good track record of health lately and is expected to make 30+ starts. In Andy’s case an incentive deal with a 5M base makes sense. I don’t think money will be an issue on either side. Pettitte really has cost himself millions over the past few seasons by sitting out, deciding to come back late, and not putting himself on the market just to drive up his price. A pitcher who wants only a one-year dead actually should get a premium. Less downside for the team.

  • DERP

    Bartolo suspended. I am sad.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 22, 2012

    OAKLAND’S COLON SUSPENDED

    The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
    The suspension of Colon is effective immediately.

    • jjyank

      Something in the water out on the west coast.

    • Get Phelps Up

      I can’t wait to hear Big Mamber’s take on this.

      • jjyank

        Heh, me too. Can you imagine if the Yankees were depending on Colon like the Yankees were on Freddy? Cashman failed.

        • RetroRob

          I think the most likely PED users now are the guys on the bubble, meaning fringy MLB players, or veteran players trying to hang on. I guess Melky and Colon cover both those categories.

          Veteran players making good money on guaranteed deals have way too much to lose right now, both in money and reputation. That’s not to say they won’t do PEDs, as Ryan Braun showed, but I guessing it’s a little less likely than a few years back.

          Eventually some player taking PEDs on the Yankees will get nailed. Let’s hope it’s a Jason Nix type and nobody big.

    • Jose M. Vazquez

      Not surprised here. There are more out there that are cheating. My question is: the player that gets suspended without pay, does the team have to pay the comish’s office the player’s salary and if so what is done with the money?

      • RetroRob

        The player doesn’t get paid. The team “saves” money. It doesn’t get sent to the Commish’s office.

        • Jose M. Vazquez..

          Thank you very much.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      Those stems cells smell funny.

  • RetroRob

    I don’t think it’s a question of either Hiroki or Andy. Pettitte showed up late in the process (Spring Training, to be exact), when the Yankees budget and rotation seemingly was set. They scraped together $2.5M. If Pettitte can give the Yankees an answer sooner rather than later, then they can plan appropriately.

    The drawback on Andy is he’s most likely not going to deliver 30 starts and 190+ innings. The broken-bone injury was a fluke, but age and lower activitiy means they’ll orobably be something, so the Yankees should plan and factor in probably a max of 22-25 starts and 150 innings. They’ll need a 6th starter, but with Phelps, Nova and a return from Pineda at some point.

    So I have no problem with a 33-year-old CC, a 38-year-old Kuroda and a 41-year-old Pettitte fronting the rotation. It’s those damn 20-something kids that are the problem!

    • RetroRob

      …in fairness to CC, 2013 is his age-32 season.

  • Darren

    I don’t blame Colono or any of these guys.