Petitte makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. He would eat up innings, likely pitch pretty well and give the rotation some stability. He also would be agreeable to a one-year deal. Joe Girardi started saying in August how much he wanted Pettitte to return.
Understand this: The Yankees still need starters. There are innings out there to fill and provisions must be made to guard against injuries. Otherwise it’s Sidney Ponson in June again.
Pettitte went on the record saying that money wasn’t an issue; he really wanted to pitch in the new Stadium. But money is the issue, otherwise Pettitte would have taken the $10 million they offered him four weeks ago. That’s fine, he’s a professional ballplayer.
A.J. Burnett is 32, had never won a thing and is 11 games over .500 for his career. Pettitte is 36, pitched in the World Series seven times and is 88 games over .500. In his mind, a $6.5 million gap between their salaries probably seems ridiculous.
But as Pettitte waits, the Yankees have options. There are free agents out there getting cheaper by the day. Brian Cashman could trade Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher for a starter.
Both Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman indicated on Tuesday that the Yankees were done making it rain for free agents. But Pettitte is family, at least for now. There’s still a deal to be made if somebody blinks.
One thing is certain: Spring training is getting closer every day.
UPDATE, 7:02 p.m.: Via MLB Trade Rumors, here is what Houston GM Ed Wade said about Pettitte: “We haven’t had any discussion with Andy or his representatives and we don’t see a scenario where he would fit into our payroll scenario at this time.”