Andy Pettitte has decided to retire. The decision was announced this afternoon, and Pettitte will make it official tomorrow morning. Any hope of a comeback is gone.
But has anything about the Yankees really changed?
Since the very beginning of this frigid winter, Brian Cashman has insisted that Pettitte’s uncertainty would not impact the Yankees offseason. Pettitte had been honest with the Yankees, Cashman said. Pettitte told them he was leaning toward retirement, and the team should move forward with the assumption that he wouldn’t be back.
Cashman said he would do exactly that. He might hold out some hope for Pettitte, but he would not wait for him.
Today, it feels as if something changed. It feels as if the Yankees lost another piece of their dream rotation, but in reality, it was only hope that was lost this afternoon. If Cashman was being honest in all of those interviews about Pettitte, then nothing about his offseason — or the Yankees situation — actually changed today. If Cashman has been moving forward with the assumption that Pettitte would not come back, then the finality of today’s announcement has no impact.
There’s no increased need to make a trade, no increased desire to sign someone like Kevin Millwood and no increased likelihood that Dellin Betances suddenly shoots to the big leagues.
The Yankees should not be any different today than they were yesterday.
But they certainly feel different.