With a little more than a month to go before pitchers and catchers report for spring training, Andy Pettitte still hasn't accepted the Yankees' one year, $10 million offer.
My question...what is he waiting for?
Pettitte is 36 (almost 37), and had a sub-par year in 2008 going 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA. A lot of people will credit that to him dealing with first being named in the "Mitchell Report" and then admitting to using performance enhancing drugs before Spring Training last year. However, Pettitte wouldn't use that as an excuse; he's just not that kind of guy.
Pettitte needs to realize that he's just not worth $16 million anymore. At his age, and with his ability, $10 million is more than fair. I happen to like Andy a lot—he is a gamer and almost always acts as a stopper when the team needs it. He has to realize that this is his best offer.
Andy is a guy that doesn't like to be out of his comfort zone. As far as he's concerned, he would've been more than content to spend his entire career with the Yankees since that's the organization he grew up in. The only reason he accepted the deal with the Astros after the 2003 season was because he lives in Texas and could be close to his family.
He said repeatedly last year that he wants to pitch in the new stadium, so most would think that he would've signed the papers already. It seems kind of silly to let $6 million stand in his way.
Pettitte also knows that with the Yankees he has the greatest chance of reaching the post-season, which is something he craves. I would think he would jump to be a part of a rotation that featured CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, and Joba Chamberlain.
Maybe he feels like the Yankees no longer need him, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
The Yankees know that every fifth day Pettitte will be ready to pitch. They also know he'll eat at least 200 innings which they love considering their bullpen, other than Mo is somewhat uncertain. His experience, and more importantly, his experience pitching in New York is something the Yankees greatly value. He can be a good influence on a lot of the younger pitchers because he's had success on the biggest stage. He's a good guy to have in the clubhouse because he's always all about the team and never about himself, which is also important for the Yankees' success.
Someone needs to remind Andy that he is a valuable part of the Yankees' organization, and if he really wants to end his career with the team he started it with, he needs to agree to the deal. No team is going to make a better offer, and beyond the money no team is going to give Pettitte the thing he craves the most; the greatest possibility to go out on top.