Last night, the New York Post showed up at Andy Pettitte’s house to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth. Turns out, Pettitte’s version of the story was the exact same version we’ve been hearing for two months.
“If I had something, y’all would know,” Pettitte told Brian Costello. “If I knew exactly what I was doing, y’all would know.”
Brian Cashman has been saying since November that Pettitte’s future is still up in the air. That situation hasn’t changed, and the Yankees are moving forward as if they won’t have Pettitte this year. It’s worth noting that two years ago, the Yankees didn’t sign Pettitte until January 26.
A few other notes and links from today.
• A George Steinbrenner statue has been installed outside of Legends Field in Tampa. If you follow that link, is it just me, or does the guy on the left side of the picture actually look a little bit like The Boss?
• Former Yankees minor leaguer Jimmy Paredes, who went to Houston in the Lance Berkman deal, ranked as the Astros No. 6 prospect according to Baseball America. Granted, that’s a pretty terrible system, but Paredes did have a nice 2010 season and got himself on the 40-man roster. I’m still not sure he’d make the top 20 for the Yankees.
• Speaking of Baseball America, here’s a short piece on Juan Miranda’s opportunity with the Diamondbacks. “I think if he gets the opportunity, he can do some good things,” general manager Kevin Towers said.
• Remember when the Yankees were reportedly interested in trading for Jeff Keppinger? Turns out, Keppinger is having surgery on his foot and will likely miss the start of the season.
• Apparently Gary Sheffield is almost certain his career is finished, but he’s leaving the door open just a little bit. Sheffield told ESPN radio in Tampa that he’s “99.9 percent” sure he’s ready to retire.
Associated Press photo
Back to the utility question • 12.17.10
Bill Hall is on the verge of a deal with the Astros. He’ll be the team’s starting second baseman, which seems to make the incumbent Astros second baseman, Jeff Keppinger, available on the trade market.
Brian Cashman has said that adding a veteran utility infielder is not a priority, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of the question. Keppinger would certainly be an offensive upgrade over Ramiro Pena, and he’s more proven than Eduardo Nunez.
I’ve written before that I agree with Cashman on not prioritizing the utility spot. Even with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter needing occasional days off, I still don’t think there are enough at-bats for a utility man to have a significant impact. That said…
Pena is what he is: Terrific with the glove, almost a black hole with the bat. Nunez has more upside than Pena, but compare these slash lines from last season:
Nunez: .289/.340/.381 in Scranton
Keppinger: .288/.351/.393 in Houston
Nunez probably has more power and speed, and he might be a better defensive shortstop — maybe, I’m not sure — but Keppinger has a better career slash line in the Major Leagues than Nunez has in the minors. Keppinger hit better than Nunez last season, and that was with Keppinger facing much better pitching.
I saw Keppinger a few times when he was in Triple-A, and he could really hit down there. Not much power, but he knew what he was doing at the plate. He’s continued to walk more than he strikes out at the big league level. I don’t think the Yankees need him, but I think he would make their team better.
Question is whether Keppinger is worth the price in terms of the prospects it would take to acquire him and the salary it would take to pay him.