While these talks about Santana are engaging, the point would become mostly moot if Andy Pettitte were returning. While we’ve heard rumors that Pettitte is leaning toward retiring this winter, what if Yankee fans showed a outpouring of support for Number 46 and convinced him to stay? That, at least, is the idea behind Steve Lombardi’s Project P46. Send Andy Pettitte a holiday card. It’s a worthwhile pursuit, and you can learn more through this post at WasWatching.com
According to a report in Metro, a free paper in Canada, the Blue Jays are interested in both Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. This is one odd report. First, if the Jays want Roger Clemens and his overinflated salary, you guys have fun with that. Second, Pettitte has made it perfectly clear that he will pitch for the Yankees or not at all. Why the Blue Jays would even waste their time is beyond me.
Andy Pettitte has, according to his agents, declined to exercise his 2008 option. While the initial reaction among Yankee fans is one of panic, there’s comparatively little to worry about here. Pettitte will either pitch for the Yankees in 2008 or retire.
Randy Hendricks, his agent, issued the following statement:
“I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season. Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.
“If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees’ willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time.”
Don’t panic. Pettitte isn’t jumping ship. It was anticipated that he would take a little bit longer than ten days to determine his future. I’m still betting he’ll be back.
Update: PeteAbe has a little bit more from Brian Cashman. The Yanks GM has politely asked Pettitte to decide within the next two months. That seems quite reasonable to me.
It’s clear that the Yanks want Andy to stay. They see big things for him in his role as staff ace next year, and his departure could radically change the Yankees’ offseason plans. Johan Santana is just moving higher and higher up their Wish List.
“Obviously we want Andy to stay with the Yanks and pitch for us in ’08,” Cashman said. “In fact I’d say I need him to. He’s an important piece for us.”
If he’s going to toss a much-needed 200 innings next year, it’s going to be in the Bronx:
“The New York Yankees committed an awful lot of money to me and put it in my hands, gave me a player option and trusted me with that option,” Pettitte said in a story posted on Houston television station KRIV’s Web site. “It probably wouldn’t be real honorable for me not to do anything other than if I shut it down, shut it down or go back and play for the New York Yankees.”
Pettitte said he won’t let the managerial changes for the Yankees figure into his decision.
Sounds like good news all around. It would be tough to see him retiring going into his age 36 season, especially given his effectiveness last year. I’ve read reports that he has another week to decide on his option, though I can’t confirm that.
Honestly, does anyone not want Pettitte back?
Ken Davidoff yesterday penned a piece about the Rocket’s desire to pitch in 2008. Luckily for Yankee fans, the Rocket probably won’t be back in the Bronx. But Davidoff also notes that Andy Pettitte “almost certainly will” exercise his 2008 option. A rotation of Joba, Hughes, Pettitte, Wang and Kennedy has me eagerly anticipating next season.
Hat tip to YanksBlog.com on this one.
It’s rough being an old pitcher on the Yankees these days. All the talk swirls around the young arms: Joba, Ian, Edwar, Phil. Even Brian Cashman gushes for paragraphs about Humberto and Ross, not to mention the slew of injured pitchers rehabbing with the Yanks.
For the Yankees and their October dreams, success lies squarely in the past, and starting tonight, we’ll see if that past is ready for one last gasp of greatness.
In August, Andy Pettitte went 6-0 with a 2.36 ERA. With those six victories, he became the first pitcher this year to win six games in one month, and for his efforts, he took home the Clutch Player of the Month Award. Pettitte’s been a great pickup for the Yanks this year, and I can only wonder how 2004-2006 would have ended had Pettitte been in Yankee pinstripes then.