Do The Yankees Need Andy Pettitte?

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Do The Yankees Need Andy Pettitte?

I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of talk about the Yankees and pitcher Andy Pettitte.

As of right now (they’ll probably make a deal as I type this post), there was an offer from the Yankees for $10 million to Andy. Depending on who you read Andy either rejected it or the Yankees took the offer off the table. However, there’s still plenty of time left when anything could happen.

Which raises the question—do the Yankees need Andy Pettitte? They just signed C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, so do they still need a 36-year-old pitcher who is probably past his prime?

For purely sentimental reasons, my answer is yes. However, I decided to do some purely unscientific (and very sarcastic) research to see if the Yankees really need Pettitte.

I added up the total number of wins the Yankees projected 2009 rotation had in 2008. There’s a lot of ways to interpret the numbers and really they don’t mean much—they are just numbers, but it looks like the Yankees could use Pettitte to really guarantee themselves a position in the 2009 postseason.

The 2009 rotation looks like it will be Sabathia who had 17 wins last year, Burnett who had 18 wins last season, and Chein Ming Wang who had 19 wins in 2007 (I’m not counting 2008 because he was injured halfway through the season).

Then it starts to get a little grey and blurry. There is Joba Chamberlin who was injured and became a starter halfway through the season—he had four wins last season. Then you have Phil Hughes, and while the expectations are high, he did only have five wins last season before he was injured too. I’ll even be nice and throw in the six wins that Mariano Rivera had.

That’s 69 wins. Throw in a some wins from the bullpen and it’s still short of the 97 wins that Tampa had last season to clinch the American League East.

It’s more than likely that Chamberlin and Hughes will have more wins this season, unless of course they get injured again or another pitcher is put on the DL for an extended amount of time. I’m pointing to Burnett who does have a track record with some time on the DL.

Pettitte had 14 wins last season which would definitely put the Yankees a lot closer to 97 wins. He may be past his prime, but he’s still only 36. There’s a good chance that he still had more wins in that arm—at least another season’s worth. I know I’d be a lot more comfortable with someone like Pettitte holding down the tail end of this rotation.

Of course this is all based on pure speculation, zero scientific fact, and could all be thrown out the window if the Yankees sign Freddy Garcia or Ben Sheets.

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