The Yankees’ drama du jour

Get your hankies, folks:

Andy Pettitte is extremely unhappy with how his negotiations have gone with the Yankees, and the lefthander might be softening on his opposition to rejoining the Astros . . . Pettitte believes that the Yankees should display more appreciation for all that he has done for them . . . Though Pettitte is popular among teammates, fans and media, emotional breakups play a significant role in his biography. He left the Yankees for Houston after the 2003 season, feeling jilted by the team that drafted him. And he returned to the Yankees after the 2006 campaign, feeling that the Astros didn’t display much interest in bringing him back.

In fact, Pettitte still harbored bad feelings against the Astros heading into this offseason, and he very much wanted to be part of the Yankees as they opened their new stadium.

If Pettitte were a woman any right-thinking man would have dumped his emotional, high-maintenance butt by now. Because he’s a nearly 37 year-old .500 pitcher with a 4.54 ERA who is demanding north of $10 million a year, the Yankees should do the same.

Oh, and by the way, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff — the guy who wrote the linked story — will turn 38 years-old on January 19th. I offer this because he said this at the end of another piece today:

Congratulations to Eric Mangini, whom I’ve never met but with whom I feel a kinship because he, Jeff Juden and I were born on the exact same day. I’d tell you the day, but like Mangini, I like to play things close to the vest. I will throw you a bone and tell you that it was sometime between Copernicus’ death and yesterday.

Coy doesn’t work on the Internet, Ken.

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Comments

  1. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    Because I just wrote about this very thing:

    On wanting more appreciation:
    The Yanks have paid Andy $77,654,000 over his 12 seasons. That doesn’t count as being appreciative? The Yanks signed him to his contracts and he fulfilled his side to the best of his ability. That’s all either side owes each other. We’ll shower him with love and affection on Old Timer’s Day, but spare me the “they aren’t showing me the love” crap, Andy, will ya?

    On not hurting financially:
    Correct, the Yanks are printing cash and also fleecing the taxpayers. Quite the double-dip. But, those other investments are for the future of the Yanks and even the Yanks have a year-to-year budget. They are also probably keenly aware of their 2008 payroll and doing whatever it takes to be even a dollar lower, so they can maintain their “we have a lower payroll than last year” argument, no matter how hollow it is. Just because they have the cash doesn’t me you get to claim it as rightfully yours.

    On 2008 not being as bad as the Yanks are making it look:
    Andy, you were 14-14 last year with a 4.54 ERA and a 98 ERA+ (that’s slightly below league average). You had an ugly 1.412 WHIP. Your second half was particularly bad, with a 5.35 ERA over 13 starts. Essentially, you are now a league average pitcher and league average pitchers do not earn $10m or more per year. Particularly those with sketchy elbow histories.

  2. kranky kritter said...

    I’d take Andy Pettitte for my pitching staff in a heartbeat. If Sabathia is worth 23 mil and AJ Burnett 16.5, then Pettitte is worth more than 10 mil, easy. With a career record of 215-127 and
    4 straight years of 200+ IP, he’ll find a home somewhere he’s not getting lowballed.

    I am sure the Red Sox would love a 2nd lefty starter behind Lester when they come to play in Yankee Stadium. Come to Boston Andy, we’ll show you some love.

    BTW, AJ Burnett? He’s managed 200 IP a grand total of 3 times during 8 years as a starter. But I guess NYY can just have Sabathia pitch 300 innings.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    Citing career records and stuff like that is exactly what gets a team to overbid.  Like a guaranteed $5.5m for a 42 year old coming off what was supposed to be career-ending surgery.

    As a Yanks fan, I’d be happy to add Andy for $10m. It’s that he’s balking about it for all the wrong reasons that’s rubbing me and other fans the wrong way.

  4. bartonbickle said...

    The Yankees paid Pettitte $32M over the last two years and got very little return in ‘08 for that kind of money.  They let him decline his option after ‘07 and waited for him to decide whether or not he wanted to retire.  They basically left the Santana sweepstakes because he returned.  They stuck by him after his HGH scandal and although he may have been pitching with a sore shoulder down the stretch, Pettitte was 1-7 with an ERA north of 7.00 from like mid August until the end of the season. With Wang and Joba hurt the Yankees needed him to step up (along with Mussina, who did) and he failed them. If he had gone .500 duruing that stretch they may have at least competed for the wild card/division.  I really don’t think it’s unfair to offer him $10M.  If he wants to look at it practically, he can pretend they signed him to a 3 year, $42M contract in ‘07.  Instead he’s being a diva that is controlled by his agent. 

    If he doesn’t accept that contract he should retire.  If he plays for the Astros or any other team in 2009 he will almost assuredly tarnish what could be a glorious legacy with the Yankees.

  5. YankeesfanLen said...

    I definitly agree with Jason- the $10M has now been hanging out there forever, take it or leave it Andy. Or follow Roger again, or wait for offers that won’t necessarily come at all.
    Boston’s signing Smoltz, do they want 7 starters?
    If you come back you’re welcome, but don’t keep the nonsense with holding someone on 1st while ignorning the batter.

  6. tadthebad said...

    @Len: no, the Sox would gladly take more starters if it weren;t for that pesky roster thing.  They went into both 2007 and 2008 with an “overload” of pitchers…too bad that didn’t work out, huh?

    Jason, Nice try, but for 5.5 million the Sox will be getting a pitcher superior to Pettite @ 10 million (assuming, you know, that Smoltz actually pitches).  You said it was good move on IIATMS…playing both sides? (easy big fella, I know your MO).  Smoltz is a good pickup for the Sox who can afford to wait until June for him.

  7. kranky kritter said...

    Can’t see Smoltz as the better option over Pettitte given that he is both 3 or 4 years older and coming off a serious injury. The sox have made it a habit to sign older injured guys still rehabbing injuries, as 2nd half insurance. And this makes sense, and has on occasion helped out.

    But even in the best instances, the total contribution of such guys has not been very substantial. That the sox signed a guy like Smoltz tells us that they are comfortable thinking that at least one more of their younger starters (from among Buckholtz, Masterson, and Bowden) will be able to contribute. IOW, Smoltz is a hedge play. More potential upside than a David Wells or a Bartolo Colon or a Wade Miller, but not that much more. He’s 41, after all. That’s when the wheels come off unless you’re a crafty junkballer.

    As a sox fan who has always admired Andy Pettitte and thought he never really got his due, I’m surprised to see Yankees fans tossing him under the bus because he struggled in the 2nd half. Lots of really good career starters have very good seasons at age 37, 38, 39.

    10 million? I would be happy to call that a good offer if not for the numbers Sabathia and Burnett got. Sabathia’s number is at leastd efensible, even though he got paid the type of money usually reserved for the handful of very best #1 starters, which I don’t think Sabathia is, not quite. But Burnett? He’s like a deluxe Carl Pavano. It’s very unlikely he gives NYY any more than say a Derek Lowe would have, and Lowe would have come cheaper.

  8. ernie mazza said...

    Grow up, Andy. For heaven’s sake—what do you expect? you’re an old man for a player and they’re still offering you 10 mil. What the heck do you want? I have no respect for him.

    Ernie

  9. TLA said...

    If Andy Pettitte can get more than $10MM from another team, good for him.  All of his bickering does beg the question . . . where are all the suitors lined up to offer him more than $10MM.  I mean don’t you have to judge the Yankees offer against some baseline? 

    It’s hardly “new” news that the Yankees offered $10MM and Pettitte didn’t like the offer.  I would imagine that if there were any teams out there that like Pettitte for $11MM or more they would have seized the opportunity presented months ago by the Yankees allegedly crappy offer.

  10. kranky kritter said...

    I think Pettitte didn’t shop around because he really didn’t want to play elsewhere, if he played. And I think that common knowledge is the reason why he hasn’t received other offers.

    Now the Yankees have given him reason to re-think.

    I think Andy Pettitte can wait until late May and still get similar money, even if he only pitches for 4 months. If teams refrain from offering what various FA pitchers think they are worth, it will be interesting to see how many of them decide to wait it out instead of taking the best available offer. This could be a trend due for some growth.

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