According to sources of ESPN's Buster Olney, Andy Pettitte will pitch in 2010, and his return is just a matter of working out a deal with the Yankees .
His decision to return is major news for the Yankees, who are looking to make whatever moves possible that can get them to defend their World Championship. Pettitte's return is huge, because he gives the Yankees durability and stability in the back end of the rotation. He's also known for his knack of winning big games, as he had a great post-season where he was the winning pitcher in the clinching games of the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series.
Pettitte's return will shore up three spots in the Yankees rotation for 2010, to go along with ace C.C. Sabathia and fireballer A.J. Burnett. Who takes the final two spots in the rotation, is still in question.
Young pitchers Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes were both in the bullpen for the Yankees in the postseason, but are still viewed as starters by the Yankees organization.
The other options, come from free agency or by trade. The big free-agent pitcher of 2010 is the Angels ' John Lackey, which would give the Yankees a top three in baseball that would be unmatched. Other names such as the Dodgers ' Randy Wolf have been thrown around as well.
Of course, the one that everyone is talking about, is the Blue Jays ' Roy Halladay. Halladay's contract is up after 2010, but it's likely that he may be traded this offseason. The Yankees are believed to be the front-runners in the Halladay sweepstakes and if Halladay becomes a Yankee, then that basically means "see ya" to the rest of the American League. The Yankees would have three ace-quality pitchers at the front of their rotation, along with Sabathia and Burnett.
But it seems that the Blue Jays are asking a lot from the Yankees for Halladay. Prized Catching Prospect Jesus Montero would likely have to be included in the deal, along with either Chamberlain or Hughes. Also add in that Halladay will not accept a trade during the season Whoever wants Halladay needs to make a move by Spring Training.
Although the Yankees surely want Halladay, I don't see them giving up Montero or either of the two pitchers. If word gets out that the Red Sox are making a play for Halladay however, the Yankees pretty much need to make something happen, because Halladay going to the Red Sox gives them a Rotation of Halladay, Beckett, Lester at the top. That's scary for any opponent. So wherever Halladay goes, he will give that team the upper hand for next season.
Whatever the Yankees decide to do with the remaining two spots in their rotation will surely make for an interesting decision, but having Andy Pettitte back is a start towards defending their world title.