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Pettitte’s deal is done

Posted By Peter Abraham On January 26, 2009 @ 3:57 pm In Misc | 264 Comments

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Conference call in a few minutes. I’ll post some audio as soon as I can.

It’s a $5.5 million deal that could balloon to as much as $12 million based on innings pitched and roster time. As I’ve written here for weeks, it makes complete sense and creates great flexibility in the rotation.

The rotation as it stands now:

Sabathia
Burnett
Wang
Chamberlain
Pettitte

with Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves and Coke waiting to fill in as needed. The Yankees now have comparable depth with the Rays and Red Sox, which is vital.

UPDATE, 4:21 p.m: The release from the Yankees:

The New York Yankees announced today they have signed left-handed pitcher Andy Pettitte to a one-year contract.

Pettitte, 36, was 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA in 33 starts with the Yankees in 2008 (204.0IP, 233H, 112R, 103ER, 55BB, 158K, 19HR), while holding left-handed hitters to a .203 batting average (47-for-231, 3HR). He was 10-7 with a 4.03 ERA prior to the All-Star break, marking his most such wins since 2003 (11).

Originally selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Pettitte is 178-101 with a 4.01 ERA in 11 overall seasons with the club (1995-2003, 2007-08). He ranks third in franchise history in strikeouts (1,574), fourth in wins and games started (343), and eighth in innings pitched (2212.0). Pettitte also played for the Houston Astros from 2004-06, where he compiled a 37-26 record with a 3.38 ERA.

Twice named an American League All-Star (1996 and 2001), Pettitte owns a 215-127 career record with a 3.89 ERA. He is the Major League leader in wins among active pitchers since his debut in 1995, and trails only the newly retired Greg Maddux (224) and Mike Mussina (218) among all pitchers over the span. Pettitte has posted a winning percentage of .500-or-better and made at least 15 starts in each of his 14 Major League campaigns. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Cy Young (15 seasons, 1890-1904) and Tom Seaver (15 seasons, 1967-81) started their careers with longer such streaks.

A member of four Yankees World Championship teams (1996, ‘98-2000), Pettitte is 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA in 35 career postseason starts, tying Tom Glavine for the most all-time postseason starts and the second-most all-time postseason wins (behind John Smoltz’s 15). He is also a two-time 20-game winner, notching 21 victories in 1996 and 2003.

UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.: Brian Cashman is on the call now. Pettitte admitted his pride was wounded by the pay cut but said in the end he wanted to play for the Yankees again.

UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: Cashman said not to expect any more significant moves.

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