Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Back in the Fold
2006-12-08 13:26
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

According to Buster Olney, Andy Pettitte will sign a one-year deal worth $16 million. He will also have a player option for 2008. The Big Unit, Chien-Ming Wang, Mikey Moose, Andy, and ? That's not too terrible. Not really a proper Ace in there, but four very solid B/B+ pitchers. Funny, I wasn't sorry to see Pettitte go, but if the report is true, I'm happy to see him back. Go figure.

Update: Our man on the spot, Pete Abraham confirms the story. Andy's back.

Comments (64)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-08 13:31:50
1.   kylepetterson
1st post=I'm awesome
2006-12-08 13:32:22
2.   kylepetterson
I'm very comfortable with the way the next couple of seasons are shaping up.
2006-12-08 13:34:21
3.   Zack
Maybe that ace can come in the form of Roger...Meh, maybe in the form of Pavano? Hehehe...Maybe in the form of a midseason call up of our ace-to-be?

But, Andy shores up our staff big time, with three solid starters in CMW, Moose, and Andy, and then two "who knows..."

2006-12-08 13:38:10
4.   vockins
Andy Pettite was great Yankee and boy did he do some amazing stuff in the playoffs and...


2006-12-08 13:42:36
5.   Zack
Anyone also think this might signal the end of the Pavano era?

As Cliff pointed out in the last thread:


Not much room for Pavano. He can fit into Rj's spot while he recovers/take the 5th starter spot, but it would not surprise me at all to see him traded in the offseason, or after spring training if he shows himself to be healthy...

To me, just get him out of here and if he gets healthy, well, so be it...

2006-12-08 13:42:42
6.   Alvaro Espinoza
From Olney's article:

"Pettitte... spent the last three seasons with the Astros, who reached the World Series for the first time in 2004."

I gotta give that little tidbit the ol' Scooby Doo "Ehhhh????"

2006-12-08 13:47:07
7.   mehmattski
Not to dig up conspiracy theories (ok, maybe a little), but this exchange had me thinking:

"I had offered the Astros $14 million and an option," Randy Hendricks said. "But they wouldn't take it. Both teams know that if Andy gets hurt, he won't take the option. The Astros flat turned me down."

So, Astros offered 1 yr/$12 mil, Yanks offered 1 yr, player option $16 mil... and Hendricks went back to the Astros and asked them to split the difference. To me that tells me that Andy did want to return to Houston as long as he didn't get insulted with Gil Meche money, and that they at least in part did use the Yankees to drive up the price. Make sense to anyone else?

2006-12-08 13:49:23
8.   wsporter
I was sorry to see Pettitte go when he did but I understood completely. He did turn down money to leave. It's good to have him back. I can't wait till he takes the mound and to see that glorious black lid pulled down low over his eyes.

At one year this is good news and a "very big smile".

2006-12-08 13:51:41
9.   Simone
The rotation is kind of old and injury prone though. However, if Pavano can come back healthy and pitch consistently, the Yankees will be in good shape for the regular season.

7 I'm surprised that Andy didn't give them another home town discount. Something must have happened there.

2006-12-08 13:53:00
10.   Simone
I'm happy to have Andy's slick pick off move back on the Yankees.
2006-12-08 13:53:37
11.   Shawn Clap
Schmidt to the Dodgers.
Jason Schmidt = Most hated man in the Bay Area.
2006-12-08 13:54:51
12.   Mike T
Pettitte back where he belongs. Welcome back Andy.
2006-12-08 13:57:39
13.   kylepetterson
9 "if Pavano can come back healthy and pitch consistently, the Yankees will be in good shape for the regular season."

What makes you think he won't?

Oh, right....

2006-12-08 14:00:52
14.   Cliff Corcoran
I just thought of how loud the crowd will be when he takes the mound in pinstripes again for the first time. I hope I'm at that game.
2006-12-08 14:02:21
15.   wsporter
7 To me it sounds like an agent doing his job. He did what we all do (in different contexts) and went to his client and said "I think there's still money on the table let me see if I can take a run at it." Like all clients Andy said something like "you're the expert" and so off Hendricks toddled to do what he did. Sounds like there was no more and that was that.

Is that Andy "using" the Yankees? Sounds more like Andy acting like a client and Hendricks acting like an agent to me.

Had Hendricks approached Andy early on and laid out a strategy wherein he plotted to negotiate with the Yankees without intending to sign there for the purpose of driving up Houston's bid I do believe Andy could properly be excoriated. That didn't happen.

Sounds like Hendricks just did his job effectively and completely. You might as well get angry at Coyotes for eating Jack-rabbits.

2006-12-08 14:03:27
16.   rilkefan
8 The way I remember it, the Yankees didn't talk to him at the end of his contract so he looked elsewhere, and as he was heading out the door they said, "Hey you, want a job?"
2006-12-08 14:04:42
17.   standuptriple
14 He should get some nice welcomes. Always liked Andy and enjoy his demeanor. Let's bring Cone back for some Spring Training advising.
2006-12-08 14:06:45
18.   Zavo
Pettitte isn't young and he has injury issues, but he is an improvement. Echoing Alex's comment, while I wasn't too upset to see Andy go, I am happy to have him back.

I don't expect miracles from Andy at this point, but I think the Yanks are a better team today than they were yesterday.

2006-12-08 14:11:36
19.   wsporter
17 That's not how I recall it at all. I recall some sturm und drang (that's for you Rilke) over personal family issues and a Gammons hosanna praising him for leaving money on the table in NY to go home. Maybe my glasses are rose colored after all. :-)

Has anyone paid any attention to the If Andy goes will Rocket follow discussion. Could there be anything to that?

2006-12-08 14:12:07
20.   OldYanksFan
"Anyone also think this might signal the end of the Pavano era?"

Pavlov is worth close to nothing now.
IF he does come back...
and IF he pitches well...
there is no reason to ditch him.

We have a lot of older and injury prone pitchers. You can NEVER have too much pitching.

If Pavlov does have a decent year, we can always trade him and get something in return next year. I personally want to see this guy come back and earn some of his paycheck.

2006-12-08 14:14:15
21.   OldYanksFan
19 My guess is Rog will retire (again), keep an eye on Andy and the Yanks, and if the Yanks are headed to the PS at the ASB, Rog will come back for 3 months and 10m.
2006-12-08 14:20:53
22.   New Amsterdam Yankees
21 I think if anything it makes Clemens more likely to go back to Boston.

I'm glad Andy's coming back, although I was hoping the second year option would at least be mutual.

2006-12-08 14:21:21
23.   standuptriple
19 I can't recall the full story coming out, but I recall a lot of murmurs. I guess I look at it this way, he had his first love and then a "sure thing" presented itself. He fooled around. Now he's realized the errors of his ways and wants to make ammends. Nobody's perfect.
2006-12-08 14:23:45
24.   randym77
I'm sure he'll get a nice welcome from the fans, and given what's out there, we probably couldn't do any better. Still...I'm underwhelmed at our rotation next year. :-/
2006-12-08 14:25:08
25.   rsmith51
I am glad that Andy is coming back. I don't want Rocket back. The Red Sox can have him.
2006-12-08 14:27:44
26.   standuptriple
25 Would there be enough room in that whole stadium for all the egoes? Something about too many Chiefs...
2006-12-08 14:30:05
27.   rsmith51
24 Is there a rotation that overwhelms you? The key for the Yanks is to have pitchers that will (most of the time) keep the team in the game until the offense has a chance to put up some runs. I think that the 98 team had 4-5 pitchers that were between the 10th and 20th best pitchers in the league. That is how I remember it anyway. Basically all number 2s and this offense is better than the 98 team, I think.
2006-12-08 14:33:47
28.   Mike T
25 Really? He pitched pretty damn well for the Astros this past season. Granted he only pitched roughly half the season, but still, if the Yankees had the opportunity to obtain him in a similar deal, you wouldn't want to see that? Might I ask why?
2006-12-08 14:37:14
29.   yankz
Back in 03, I wasn't as obsessed with baseball as I am now, so I didn't follow the Pettite saga all that closely (I just assumed he'd be back). It seems like everyone has their own version of the story. So, I'm not going to be angry at Pettite. I'm very, very happy he's back.
2006-12-08 14:37:32
30.   thelarmis
Welcome Home, Andy! Yup, The Stadium is gonna be LOUD when Pettitte returns to the mound. Can't wait for "The Stare" and yeah, that "slick pick." I, too, wish it was a mutual option. Ca$h is The Man!
2006-12-08 14:39:55
31.   randym77
27 As others have mentioned, our rotation is rather old and/or injury-prone. It may be a rotation that can get us to the post-season, but I don't think it's one that can win in the post-season. I want more youth and power.

I was hoping we'd get Matsuzaka. Or that we'd be able to pry one of the Marlins' young arms away from them. (Not necessarily Willis.)

2006-12-08 14:41:16
32.   rsmith51
28 My not wanting Clemens has absolutely nothing to do with his performance. I have never liked the guy. He was always my least favorite Yankee(except maybe when Mondesi and Clemens were on the same team).

I will acknowledge that he pitched some pretty special games for the Yanks, especially in 2000 Post-season.

2006-12-08 14:59:02
33.   standuptriple
31 That's the thing though, there really isn't any youth and power to be had without giving up the farm system. Considering the options I think the Yanks did well. Not everyone can pitch in NYC. At least we know Andy won't crumble under the pressure (see: Beckett,Josh/Clement,Matt).
30 I love the move too. It's a shame more LHP don't hone that skill. I'm not thrilled about any player option really.
2006-12-08 15:04:01
34.   Rich
RJ should be a LOOGY.
2006-12-08 15:35:08
35.   rilkefan
for links at the time, e.g. which supports my take.
2006-12-08 15:35:24
36.   randym77
34 That would be one expensive LOOGY. o_O

Well, maybe he'll be better now that he's had back surgery.

And there's Phil Hughes to look forward to...

2006-12-08 15:42:14
37.   monkeypants
I think this is a bit of a weird move. They just bid a fair chunk for Igawa, and all the remaining staff have no options. So, while it is good to stockpile pitching depth, it doesn't do any good if they can't be stored in the minors, or if they can't reasonably be kept in the pen.

I guess Igawa could be sent to the pen--but that's a lot of bread to spend on a long reliever. Or maybe they just won't negotiate with him now that the rotation is more or less full, and just send him back to Japan?

Otherwise, someone has to go, and the only reasonable person would be Pavano. But who is going to take him? And how much salary do the Yanks eat?

2006-12-08 15:43:28
38.   yankz
35 Reading some of those articles, it's amazing how much the organization has changed since Cash$ took over.
2006-12-08 15:54:55
39.   rilkefan
37 - Pavano might be willing to try to work his way into the rotation from long relief. I'd like to see RJ pitch again before I get concerned about having too many arms.
2006-12-08 16:01:38
40.   wsporter
35 I respect your recollection but I checked elsewhere and found the following in an ESPN article:

"Andy Pettitte followed his heart back home to Houston, making a "gut-wrenching'' decision Thursday to leave the New York Yankees and accept a $31.5 million, three-year contract with the Houston Astros. " … "Pettitte took $7.5 million less to sign with the Astros -- the Yankees' last offer was for $39 million over three years. But the Astros play near Pettitte's hometown of Deer Park, an important factor for the pitcher's wife and children."

Here's a link:

Lupica is well … he's Lupica. If he told me the sun rose in the east I'd check. I tried the others in the Banter link and Olson was the only one that came up. Hers doesn't seem to resolve the issue.

Clearly we remember this differently. As I look back at your 16 above I'm not sure that it couldn't have happened that way yet it doesn't seem to fit with my recollection or with what I've found. The words "Yankees last offer" lead me to believe they made more than one which may preclude a "foot out the door" scenario.

In any event I think this is a good move considering the options and a host of worse moves that occupied their decision horizon.

2006-12-08 16:27:10
41.   rilkefan
40 - I recall wondering after the Series what was going on with Pettitte's contract and reading speculation (think there's some that month in the Banter) about why he hadn't been resigned. Your quote works in my scenario as follows:

Andy's heading out the door and they say (as a CYA maneuver, or out of oh-crap-we-dropped-the-ballism) "Hey you, want a job for X?" (where X is insulting or otherwise not enough), Andy says thanks but no thanks, then they say (out of wanting to be able to say they really tried, or perhaps out of clueless hope), "Well, how about Y" (where Y is reasonable but too late), then "How about our final offer, Z"?

At the link Alex thinks he would have stayed if they had tried to keep him, and my guess is that's right. Anyway, we got Brown instead.

2006-12-08 16:37:22
42.   yankz
Melky is the best defensive LF, according to Baseball Musings. Johnny Damon is near the top. Excellent.
2006-12-08 16:41:12
43.   unmoderated
this is way back in the memory banks, and there's a very good chance it's just some dream i had in 2003 after a spicy meal, but i recall some speculation that andy's wife wouldn't let him stay in NY after he had an affair.
2006-12-08 16:42:49
44.   unmoderated
forget i said it. i'll leave the rumor mongering to the sports radio.
2006-12-08 16:44:50
45.   wsporter
41 Again maybe it's my rose colored glasses at work. As I recall I felt good about Andy leaving big money on the table to go home. Maybe I didn't want to believe that it wasn't as "wholesome" a story as I thought.

As I say it seems to be down to a matter of opinion now but I would ask only: why, if he was treated so shabbily by the Yankees on the way out, would he return? Maybe the player option explains it but it seems in this market he could have done nearly as well elsewhere.

Anyway I'm glad he's back. Haven't heard from you in a while either, glad you're back. Have you found that pesky old "unified field theory" yet?

2006-12-08 18:01:08
46.   rilkefan
45 - the past is another country. As in, for 43 - "That was in another country, and besides ..." Anyway, I see it as Andy honoring his discussions with the Astros plus leaving money on the table to go home. Maybe he decided that '03 was a business thing, or a Boss thing, and another year or two handing the ball to Mario would be cool.

I gave up on the unified field theory and am kinda working on observing gamma ray bursts and exotic astronomical phenomena - but mostly being a dad -
- and paying the mortgage.

2006-12-08 18:07:12
47.   Jim Dean
While highly unlikely, anyone think a six man rotation could work? That way you save all the old guys and even allow Hughes and Wang to continue to build arm strength. By June, they'll have a MLB pitching staff in Scranton. Why not weave them in on a regular basis to keep everyone fresh? Even with a injury or two, there still at least six arms that can throw at league average - everyone throws between 100 and 150 innings. It's not like there's going to be much competition in the East.
2006-12-08 18:19:34
48.   wsporter
47 Cuteness is perceptible, well done ... they are the best thing in the world aren't they.

Ah yes "the mortgage" now that is a foreign country and they definitely do things differently there.

2006-12-08 18:21:37
49.   Jim Dean
48 Good God, man, what is that!?
2006-12-08 18:25:10
50.   wsporter
That's 46
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-08 18:27:23
51.   yankz
This reminds me of that tinyurl typo day. Elevex!
2006-12-08 18:31:21
52.   Jim Dean
For a good laugh, wsport:

Keep refreshing for new ones.

2006-12-08 19:03:07
53.   yankz
"Nietzsche Family Circus"


2006-12-08 19:10:39
54.   mehmattski
51 David Ortiz man-purses! (right? I can't remember very well...)
2006-12-08 19:32:55
55.   buffalocharlie
28 'He pitched pretty damn well for the Astros this past season. Granted he only pitched roughly half the season, but still,'

Pettitte made 35 starts for the Astros last year, amassing 214 1/3 innings. He made 33 starts in 2005. It was Pettitte's first year with the Astros that the pitcher encountered injuries, making 15 starts.

Year Starts

1995 26
1996 34
1997 35
1998 32
1999 31
2000 32
2001 31
2002 22
2003 33
2004 15
2005 33
2006 35

Acknowledging that Pettitte will be 35 years old next June, I'd say that durability is a plus factor in predicting his value for the team next season.

Also, I echo a few persons comments regarding Pettitte in that I am glad to see him pitch for the Yanks again. He was part of the core.

charlie h.
buffalo, ny

2006-12-08 20:31:46
56.   yankz
54 Haha, I believe so.

Scott Proctor is a class act:

2006-12-08 21:08:46
57.   mehmattski
56 Not to mention Aaron Guiel, who will have to give up the coveted #46. "I'll have to look at the list of available numbers," said Guiel. Good luck, Aaron, that list is shrinking by the generation. Pretty soon they'll have to break out the triple digits in spring training. Hexadecimal, maybe? "Hey, 13D, get over here!"
2006-12-08 21:15:53
58.   Mike T
55 My quote was referring to Clemens, not Pettitte. Clemens of course came in halfway through the season, and pitched very well in that second half.
2006-12-08 21:24:56
59.   Just fair
I was on the fence when hearing about Pettitte's possible return. The staff is better now than it was yesterday. So I am glad to have him back. And count me in the camp of the stupid and blindly optismistic that Pavano can contribute 150+ innings this year. That is of course until he sprains a taste bud while brushing his teeth in spring training. Then I will just go back to cursing him whenever his name is mentioned.
2006-12-08 21:48:02
60.   C2Coke
I am in Montreal now and I've been busy all day in this -3F weather. It's nice to have some good news to cap off the day.

Once again, in Cashman I trust.

2006-12-08 22:14:41
61.   yankz
If anyone else is bored, just remember this game, and how perfectly it all worked out.

2006-12-08 22:57:05
62.   kdw
61 Yes. Thanks.
2006-12-08 23:31:37
63.   Zack
"If you gaze long into an abyss,
the abyss will gaze back into you."


I think that's what happened to Pavano...

2006-12-09 08:59:18
64.   OldYanksFan
Brandon Inge - 3B
Career: 16 hrs .241 .302 .398 .700
Last 3: 19 hrs .267 .318 .445 .763 (approx)

Yes, he has improved. Had a career year with 27 hrs, although just a .313 OBP and a .776 OPS

Just got 4 years @ 6$m per. Can I assume even using his career year with an OPS of .776 that he is around league average, with better HRs?

Are these desperation dollars? Although we are now paying a league average SP a (desperate) 16$m.

If FA prices come back to earth over the next few years, a lot of teams are gonna be paying a fortune for average players.

Thank God for Man-of-Cash. I'm proud of you baby.

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