Tuesday, January 06, 2009
yesterday's douchebag franken gave me an idea....
introducing the daily douchebag!...
Rejects Yankees’ Offer, Making Return Uncertain
By TYLER KEPNER
Published: January 5, 2009
In some ways, Andy Pettitte is no different from the dozens of other free agents to start the new year without a team. Players all over baseball are waiting for better offers, and teams are searching for bargains.
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Barton Silverman/The New York Times
Andy Pettitte was offered a one-year, $10 million deal, a 37.5 percent decrease from his $16 million salary last season.
But Pettitte is not like other players, and the Yankees are not like other teams. Pettitte has pledged his loyalty to the Yankees, and the Yankees have spent lavishly this winter at a time when many clubs are scaling back.
A reunion seemed inevitable at the start of the off-season, but now it is uncertain. Pettitte has rejected the Yankees’ one-year, $10 million offer, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, and there is no standing offer for now.
Pettitte could return because some in the Yankees’ hierarchy want him back. But in a winter of aggressive activity, the Yankees have been unwilling to bend for Pettitte. As an eight-year, $180 million deal for first baseman Mark Teixeira becomes official with a news conference Tuesday, the awkward Pettitte drama plays out in the background.
The offer to Pettitte represented a 37.5 percent decrease from his $16 million salary last season. Pettitte considered the offer for weeks, then met with General Manager Brian Cashman in Texas after the winter meetings last month.
Pettitte might wonder why the Yankees offered a pay cut at a time when they spent a combined $243.5 million on C. C. Sabathia and A. J. Burnett. If he is, though, Pettitte has not said so. Reached by The New York Times on Dec. 3, he said he wanted to return but was leaving the matter to his agent, Randy Hendricks, who did not respond to e-mail messages Monday.
Derek Lowe is still available in free agency, and after the Yankees’ stealth pursuit of Teixeira, anything seems possible. The fifth spot in the rotation probably belongs to Phil Hughes for now, but the easiest answer is to retain Pettitte. He led the team in innings despite pitching with shoulder pain, going 14-14 with a 4.54 earned run average.
At 36 and a father of four, Pettitte has taken a year-to-year approach to his career. The Yankees let him take his time in deciding whether to exercise a one-year option after the 2007 season, and he waited until early December, just before the release of the Mitchell report.
Pettitte did not tell the Yankees that he might be included in the report, which said he had used human growth hormone. Pettitte admitted his use and the Yankees supported him publicly. But his performance suffered in the second half of the season, when he usually gets stronger, and he admitted his distracting off-season might have been a factor.
In a way, though, such honesty has always been part of Pettitte’s appeal; his sincerity and earnestness have made him a fan favorite. In an interview in September, Pettitte forecast a quick negotiation, even though he knew it might not be wise to do so.
“Obviously anyone else would say, ‘I’ll go wherever I want to,’ because people want to try to get the most money,” Pettitte said before a Yankees-Angels game in Anaheim, Calif. “But, I mean, I’m not going anywhere, you know what I’m saying? The Yankees know me enough, it’s not like I’m going to hold out. I guess if I had spent all my money or whatever, it might be different. But it’s not about that, really, anymore.”
Pettitte also said he would discuss his future with his family, so the possibility exists that he will simply retire. Yet those who have talked to Pettitte, including Manager Joe Girardi, have been under the impression that he wants to play for the Yankees.
“He’s still excited about coming back,” Girardi said on Dec. 18, adding that Pettitte was enthusiastic about the Yankees’ roster moves. For Pettitte to be part of the team again, though, one stubborn party must back down.