It’s been two months since the Yankees postseason run came to an end. It’s not especially surprising that it’s taken him this long to mull retirement, but at this point a lot of pitchers — non-Rivera category — will start throwing to get themselves ready for spring training. What Pettitte does in the next few weeks will depend entirely what he decides to do the next few months. For his own well-being, it’s hard to hesitate much longer.
For the Yankees, their roster situation changes significantly depending on Pettitte. Their lineup and bullpen is basically the exact same today as it was this time last year. The difference is in the rotation, and a Yankees source has told Wally Matthews that they expect a decision in the next few days (though, we’ve heard that before).
With Pettitte, there’s no reason to panic. Essentially, the Yankees would have Ivan Nova to replace Javier Vazquez, and that would give them a legitimate starting five to carry into Opening Day. They’d want to add some depth and might be able to find one or two upgrades, but a Yankees roster with Pettitte is viable. It would actually be very close to last year’s roster.
Without Pettitte, there’s an obvious need for pitching help, and the Yankees might have to get creative to find pieces that fit.
Associated Press photo