Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pettitte Back for One More Year

Andy Pettitte and the Yankees have agreed on an incentive-laden one-year contract that will make him their fifth starter next year.

The contract will pay him $5.5 million in base salary, but offers an additional $6.5 million in bonuses based on innings pitched and days spent on the active roster. If he doesn't spend time on the disabled list and pitches 210+ innings this year, he will earn the full $12 million.

Earlier this offseason, Pettitte rejected a $10 million proposal from the Yankees, but he clearly wanted to pitch in the New Yankee Stadium. As a Yankee from 1995-2003 and from 2007 up until the present, Pettitte, along with Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, is one of the last bridges to the '90s Yankees dynasty. While the current deal guarantees less money, the incentives are relatively easy to attain.

The 2009 Yankees rotation should look something like this: C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain and Pettitte. Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, Sergio Mitre and the other youngsters will have to wait in the wings unless someone gets injured or Joba Chamberlain moves back to the bullpen (which, for the record, I am dead set against).

While I am against this signing on the grounds that Pettitte is old, and was very ineffective in the second half last season, I will never really get tired of watching him. David Cone and him were my two favorite pitchers growing up, so I hope he pulls a Mike Mussina and reinvents himself this season and makes idiots like me feel bad for doubting him. In reality, as a fifth starter, Pettitte should be just fine. It's just a shame to let Phil Hughes waste away in the minors when he clearly needs big league experience at this point to step forward.

Pettitte admitted to using HGH after being mentioned in the Mitchell Report last spring. With the distraction of that likely to be considerably smaller this season, I would not be surprised to see him bounce back somewhere between his 2007 numbers of 15-9 and a 4.05 and 2008 stats of 14-14 with a 4.54.

1 comment:

  1. The piece of me that holds a deep nostalgia for the remaining few members of those World Series teams is thrilled at this news, but my more logical side wishes we were bringing along a younger hurler that could pitch us into the future.