Good news! Andy Pettitte might come back to the Yankees next season. Pettitte was among the last two of the 171 eligible players to declare for free agency. This move made a strong indication that the 37 year old lefty isn't ready to retire.
The Yankees wants him back to keep their starting rotation intact. After CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, the Yankees' rotation is a question mark. The Yankees is still not sure where to place Joba and Hughes seemed to be comfortable in the bullpen. Andy Pettitte can fill that hole nicely. Pettitte still has a lot of thread in him and can still pitch for 1-2 years. Pettitte would definitely provide stability in their rotation.
Andy Pettitte has the most post-season career wins (18) and is still considered a 6 inning guy. He went 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA in 32 starts and was brilliant in the postseason when he was 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA in five games. He was the winning pitcher in the clinchers against the Twins (ALDS), Angels (ALCS) and Phillies (World Series).
The question is how much is his worth?
Last season, Pettitte took a pay cut from his previous $ 16 million a year down to $ 5.5 million. Randy Hendricks (Pettitte agent), thought the amount was too steep a decline. So the Yankees buttered it up with incentive laden contract that was based on innings pitched and days on the active roster. Pettitte can get $ 11-12 million in 2009 if he stays healthy and remains consistent. Pettitte did exactly just that by playing 32 games and had 194.2 innings pitched. And on top of that Pettitte grab his 5th World Series title, defeating the Philliies in Game 6.
If you will ask me Pettitte is worth $ 11-12 million and the Yankees should or must consider signing the veteran pitcher with that kind of amount. Remember Closer Mariano Rivera begged owner Steinbrenner to bring Pettitte back last year to provide guidance and wisdom to newcomers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett about pitching in The Bronx.
Andy Pettitte is also instrumental in teaching young studs like Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. Pettitte is still considered a staple player in the Yankees roster and he is one of the Yankees original "Core Four" where they won World Series championships in the late 90's and the year of 2000.
I have a strong feeling that the Yankees will get the services of Andy Pettitte next season. The Yankees don't have any excuse not to sign him. Pettitte is a big time pitcher and strives to play in pressure games.
So Brain Cashman, what are you waiting for. Get the offer sheet ready and hand it out to Handy Andy.