Yankee Doodle “Andy” Returns Back Home

After about three months of negotiations, Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees have finally reached an agreement that will bring Andy back to the “Beautiful Bronx” for at least the 2009 season.

Pettitte has stated all along that he wanted to pitch for the Yankees in the new Yankee Stadium, and as is the case most of the time in these days of baseball, “money” was the stumbling block in regards to Andy making a decision earlier in this whole process.

Yes, we all had to “follow the money” during the Yankees and Andy Pettitte discussions.

Pettitte made $16 Million last year, and was offered a one-year, $10 Million deal to pitch for the Bronx Bombers in 2009. Andy and his agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, felt this offer by the Yankees was too big of a cut from the amount of money Andy made last year. More than anything else, Andy’s pride was hurt, as he didn’t feel the Yankees Organization was taking into consideration his past success in pinstripes, as a major part of the starting pitching rotation on “four” World Championship teams with the Yanks.

So, Andy Pettitte said “no” to the $10 Million offer, and the Yankees response was to take the offer off the table, creating a “stalemate”, or, “check” situation, depending on your point of view.

I always believed, from the beginning of these negotiations, that the Yankees really do need Pettitte in their rotation this upcoming season, because both Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain, who are slated as two of the Yankees five starters, are returning his season from injuries in 2008.  

Also, the Yankees two other top young starting pitchers, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, proved they are not ready for “prime time”, by recording “zero” wins between them in their brief time on the mound in 2008. And, both pitchers were injured a good part of last season, which limited their innings pitched, that will result in their innings being limited once again in 2009. 

In my view, I still think Hughes has a future with the Yankees; but, would be very surprised if Kennedy ever pitches again for the Yankees on the Major League level. In Kennedy’s case, it goes beyond pitching. It has more to do with some statements he made after a losing performance in which he said, “he wasn’t disappointed by the loss”, and took a very causal attitude in his interview after the game, that didn’t sit very well with the Yankee players, manager, coaching staff, Yankees front office, and, most importantly, the fans.

Kennedy was sent down to the minors after that poor pitching effort and even poorer response to his loss. He didn’t pitch for the Yanks the rest of 2008, not even being called up at the end of the season. I can see Ian Kennedy being traded or released if he doesn’t get off to a solid start in 2009, most likely pitching for the Yankees AAA minor league team in Scranton-Wilkes/Barre. 

As you can see, the Yankees bringing back Andy Pettitte, and Andy wanting to return, is a very wise move by both parties that will provide much value to the Yankees starting rotation in 2009.

In a conference call with the media on the day of his signing, Pettitte expressed much happiness regarding his decision to return to the Bronx.

Andy Pettite said, “… when you put all that aside [pride], I wanted to play for the New York Yankees, and, you know, that was the bottom line. I know I could have made a lot more money [somewhere else] than what I signed for. But, if you want to play for one team you’re going to have to make sacrifices. If it means me taking a pay cut, then it means me taking a pay cut.” 

Well, in the end, Andy Pettitte did take a pay cut, and agreed to a one-year deal with the Yankees for a guaranteed $5.5 Million, with incentives based on innings pitched, that would add $4.5 Million to the deal, and, number of days on the active roster, that would add another $2 Million to Andy’s contract, in which, if Pettitte stays healthy throughout the season, would earn him a total of $12 Million.

Andy Pettitte’s extra special bonus would be his 5th World Series ring, if all the expectations from our winter signings of: Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett improve the team enough to lead the Yankees to their 27th World Championship in 2009.

The New York Yankees 2009 “Starting Pitching Rotation” has just added more class with the re-signing of Andy Pettitte.

CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, and Andy Pettitte, looks like a winning starting rotation to me, and I’m sure most, if not all, Yankee fans agree. 

Andy, you made the right decison to return. Yankee fans enthusiastically welcome you home.

 

To view Andy Pettitte’s career stats, click on …

http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/pettian01.shtml

 

— Jimmy Curran, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”  

 

      

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18 comments

  1. Elizabeth D

    Jimmy,
    Talk about a murderer’s rotation. Joba was on the Hot Stove Report yesterday, did you see him? I’m glad you got your wish of Petite coming back.
    I didn’t see Kennedy’s start, but that’s a terrible attitude to have after a game! After any game, win OR loss, pitchers should always look to see how they can improve. On the Hot Stove Report, the panel was speculating how Joba could return to the bullpen whenever Mariano retires, and then Phil Hughes could be brought into the rotation. What do you think about that?
    -Elizabeth
    http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  2. juliasrants

    Jimmy – I know that the fans of the Yankees really wanted Pettitte back so I am glad that an agreement was worked out. I’m shocked to read what you wrote about Ian Kennedy said after his lose. How could he take it so lightly? I understand that things happen and not every game can be won – but how could he not be disappointed? Isn’t the point to try and win each game? I agree with you – I don’t think he is long for a Yankees uniform. I think the AL East is going to a tight battle to the end Jimmy. And I can’t wait for it to start.

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  3. bigjay21

    Kennedy’s comments are old news. They Yanks told him what they thought of his comments, he understood how much of a fubar his comment was, and he apologized and performed decently in the minors at the end of 2008. Kennedy is a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher to a back-of-the-rotation pitcher AT BEST, and he is proving to be as such… Good in AAA, but not good enough for the Majors… He might have a future as a long reliever from the ‘pen, but that is obviously not his ideal role….Hughes has much more of an upside than Kennedy, and has shown to be head-and-shoulders better than Kennedy time and again. Unfortunately for Hughes, he has to beat out Joba Chamberlain for a starting role for the Yankees, or else he is starting the season in AAA again – though with Burnett in the rotation, it will only be a matter of time before he will be back (I give it 3 months)…
    http://jerseybombers.mlblogs.com

  4. jimmy27nyy

    Just a note, regarding Ian Kennedy …

    For anyone interested, after Kennedy’s disastrous 10-5 loss to the the L.A. Angels in August, 2008, I expressed my thoughts about Ian Kennedy’s interview [in which he said he “was not upset about the loss”], in probably my most critical post last year, “Kennedy, ‘Not Upset’ … You Can’t Be Serious” !!! — on August 9, 2008 … To view this post, click on: http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/08/kennedy_not_upset_you_cant_be.html

  5. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Elizabeth …

    Thanks for your support of Andy Pettitte re-signing with the Yankees … Also, I just read the report that Jason Varitek re-signed with the Boston Red Sox for a one-year deal worth $5 Million, with a one-year option for 2010 !!! … So, we both got our wish, and key players from the Yanks and Sox are returning for the 2009 season … I look forward to the first battle at the plate between Pettitte and Varitek !!! … Yes, I did see the Joba Chamberlain interview on the Hot Stove Report on the MLB Network … The great Joba debate will continue throughout spring training and into the 2009 season … But, it was good to hear Joba say [once again, as it has been reported already] that the Yankees [Brian Cashman] told Joba he will be a starter this year, all year, and not pitch back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen !!! … I always agreed that Joba should be a starter, so that the Yankees can see what he can do in the rotation for a whole season !!! … I think it would be a waste to exile Joba Chambrlain to the bullpen as the 8th inning set-up man, ’cause he has the potential to be an “ace” of the staff !!! … But, maybe, in two years, when Mariano Rivera retires, the Yankees can re-visit the idea of Joba in the bullpen, but, only as the Yankees “closer” !!! … Also, I still think Phil Hughes will be part of the Yankees starting rotation at some point in the future; and, I really think Ian Kennedy will not pitch for the Yanks on the big league level, and will probably be traded sometime this year or next year !!! … [check out my August 9, 2008 post on Ian Kennedy — in my above comments] … Thanks for your visit, Elizabeth, and, also, your great comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Julia …

    For the kind words regarding the Yankees bringing back Andy Pettitte to the Bronx … It’s also great news for you Julia, and all Boston Red Sox fans, that the Sox re-signed Jason Varitek to a one-year deal for $5 Million with a one-year option for 2010 ……… So, “congratulations” on the Varitek signing !!! … And, yes, the comments by Ian Kennedy, saying, he was “not upset”, after his 10-5 loss against the L.A. Angels in August, 2008, was very sad and disappointing to all in the Yankees Universe, at the time, and, still to this day, as far as I’m concerned; and, I’m sure many other Yankee fans agree !!! … [check out my August 9, 2008 post on Ian Kennedy, in my above comments] … Kennedy really didn’t pitch well [at all] last year, and his attitude seemed way too casual in regards to taking responsibility for his poor pitching, especially, in his final start for the Yankees last August !!! … I do think the Yankees will trade Kennedy at some point in the near future !!! … Also, I agree with you Julia, regarding the race for first place in the AL East in 2009 … It will be fun to watch; and, will be like you said in your above comments, “a tight battle to the end” !!! … I also, “can’t wait for it to start” … Take care, Julia; thanks for your visit and great comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  7. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, jerseybombers … “Welcome” and, “Thanks for the Visit” !!!

    Yeah, Ian Kennedy’s comments are old news, and I hope he has learned a major lesson from the events that took place, during and after his interview, after his 10-5 loss against the L.A. Angels back in August, 2008 !!! … But, with all the moves the Yankees made this winter, signing: CC and A.J., and confirming that Joba will be a starter the whole season, I really don’t think Kennedy will start for the Yanks this year, or in the future … In my view, Kennedy will most likely will be traded sometime during this year, or next season !!! … I do agree with you about Phil Hughes … He will probably start the season in AAA-SWB, but will be the first starter called-up, if needed, in 2009 !!! … Also, I think Hughes will be part of the Yankees starting rotation in future years; and, if he stays healthy, has the potential to be a very good major league pitcher !!! … Thanks again for the visit and your great comments !!! … Best Wishes and God Luck with you new mlblog … I will be sure to visit soon !!! … Jimmy [27NYY],”BY&L”

  8. Erin Kathleen

    Jimmy,
    I’m not really surprised that Pettite ended up re-signing with the Yankees. I doubt he really had any desire to pitch anywhere else, but I’m sure he probably would’ve signed elsewhere if the market were better. It didn’t sound like Pettite was getting a lot of serious offers and I think he realized it was in his best interest to accept the Yankees’ offer.

    As for Kennedy, do you think he would benefit from a fresh start somewhere else? It doesn’t sound as though the Yankees are particularly enamored with him, his stuff or his attitude, and perhaps he would be more valuable as trade bait?
    -Erin
    http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

  9. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Erin …

    Yeah, it took awhile for Andy Pettitte to re-sign with the Yanks. But, Andy always said he wanted to return to the Bronx and pitch for the Yankees in the new Yankee Stadium; and, I think, he was just trying to wait as long as possible to get the best offer he could … Like you said, “he probably would’ve signed elsewhere if the market was better”; but, it’s getting very close to spring training, and, in the end, Pettitte did realize it was best for him to return to the Yankees !!! … Regarding, Ian Kennedy, I definitely think he would be better off pitching for another team in an area where there is far less pressure than the constant, daily, day-by-day, pressure, that players have to deal with in New York. [as a matter of fact, earlier in 2008, when Kennedy was sent down to the minors for the first time, he said, maybe, pitching in the minors would be better for him because there was a lot less pressure down there] … So, with all the moves the Yankees made this winter, there really is not a spot on the pitching staff for Ian Kennedy; and, I do think, at some point in the future, the Yankees will trade Kennedy !!! … The Yankees did give him a chance to prove himself in 2008, and Kennedy didn’t make the most of it … Sometimes in baseball, and all sports, players only get “one” real shot to make it in the big leagues; and, if they fail, they may not get another chance with that same team … But, Ian Kennedy is young, and I think, will get another chance to pitch in the majors — with a team other than the Yankees !!! … Thanks, for the visit, Erin, and great comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  10. Jane Heller

    I’ll play devil’s advocate and say it’s possible that Kennedy will pitch at the major league level again for the Yanks. I think he was rightly blasted for the “I’m not disappointed” comment last year, but I also hope he learned a valuable lesson from the media and his teammates. If one of our starters goes down and he gets called up, maybe he’ll surprise us. But I agree Hughes is in line ahead of him. Oh, and I’m very happy about Andy! Our rotation rocks!

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  11. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Jane …

    Well, of course, I hope every pitcher and position player on the Yankees has a great spring training, and impresses the Yankees braintrust enough to be considered for a spot on the 25-man roster when the new season starts !!! … Hey, anything is possible regarding all players, even Ian Kennedy … Any player could have a perfect spring training and be in postion to make the big league roster because of their outstanding performance, and, also, maybe, because of an injury to another player … And, certainly, if they do not start the season on the Yankees roster, and continue to play well in the minors, these players will be on the top of the list when a player needs to be called-up to the Bronx !!! … I wish Ian Kennedy, and all Yankee players, well; and, especially, I really do hope that Kennedy learned a valuable lesson from the events that took place last year in his baseball life, from his poor pitching performances all year, to his very disappointing interview after his 10-5 loss to the Angels on that early August, 2008, day !!! … Right now, I think, Phil Hughes, and a few other pitchers are ahead of Ian Kennedy, as far as being a part of the starting rotation [as a call-up from the minors as the 5th or 6th starter, if needed] … So, maybe, it would be better off for Kennedy, [and the Yankees], if he was traded to another team where there is less pressure, and where he would get a chance to pitch on the big league level … The Yankees did give Kennedy and Hughes every opportunity to succeed last year as two key starters in the rotation; but, based on the Yankees winter signings of: CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, and re-signing Andy Pettitte, clearly the Yankees are moving forward in a new direction regarding the starting rotation !!! ….. Like you said, in your above comments, Jane, “Our rotation rocks” ! … Yes, it will be fun watching: CC, A.J., Wang, Joba, and Andy pitch this upcoming season !!! … Thanks for the visit, Jane; and, also, your great comments, as usual !!! … Go Yankees !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  12. ossian7

    Why is everyone giving up on Kennedy after one silly remark? He was 24 when he made it and, if anyone wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, he may have intended it to mean he wasn’t going to let a bad outting shake his confidence in himself. But he was just 24, as opposed to Andy P who got injected with ‘roids when he was a decade older.

    So why the rush to crucify Kennedy and forgive Pettite? Give the kid a chance to mature. Wasn’t it just last year at this time that “experts” said he had the stuff to be the next Musina? Give up too early on young guys and its’ Jose Rios and Al Leiter all over again.

  13. welikeroywelikeroy

    I’ve always admired the pitcher Pettitte is. He has logged the most innings of his career against the Jays and I just personally don’t like it when he is the opposing pitcher. Great move to first base, big competitor on mound! The guy is a legit and savvy vetern pitcher. He was a part of some great Yankee teams, his numbers still show that he can be part of possibly some more great ones (if the young Jays don’t have anything to say about it, lol).
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Babu …

    Yeah, it’s great news that the Yankees re-signed Andy Pettitte !!! … The Yankees starting rotation is now set-up perfectly with: CC, A.J., Wang, Joba, and Andy as a solid foundation of starters that will give the Yankees many innings pitched this year which will bring the Yanks into the 7th and 8th innings of most of their starts [maybe even staying in games long enough to pitch a few complete games] … The key is for all the starters to stay healthy all year, and, of course, we need Mariano Rivera to also stay healthy, and have another great year closing out games !!! … I really look forward to the 2009 season — it’s going to be a great year in the Bronx that hopefully will end with the Yankees winning their 27th World Championship !!! … Thanks for the visit, Babu !!! Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  15. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Jeremy …

    Great thoughts about Andy Pettitte, who is a proven veteran for the Yanks, and like you said in your comments, Andy “is a big competitor on the mound” with one of the best pick-off moves to first base of any pitcher in baseball … Also, Andy is a “winner”, who has pitched many big games for the Yankees on the great Championship teams of the 1990’s !!! … Pettitte usually pitches well in the second half of the season; but, he didn’t have a great second half last year as he seemed to be tired and did have a slight muscle strain in his shoulder … Andy did pitch over 200 innings, though, in 2008; and, if he stays healthy throughout this year, I would expect Pettitte to win at least 15-17 games for the Yankees as their 5th starter !!! … And, yes, the Blue Jays always play well against the Yankees; so, I look forward to the games against the Blue Jays this year !!! ……. Thanks for the visit, Jeremy; and, good luck on your new job !!! …….. Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  16. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, ossian7 … Thank You for your visit, and comments !!!

    Well, I will start by first saying that the Yankees have not yet given up on Ian Kennedy as he is still on their 40-man roster; and, I think, most Yankees fans [including myself] want Kennedy, and all Yankee players, to do well !!! … But, I also think, almost everyone in the Yankees Universe are a little bit more than concerned about Ian Kennedy, and whether or not he can handle the pressure of pitching in New York … Also, after his poor pitching performances in 2008, there are still questions to be answered about just how good of a starting pitcher Kennedy really is ??? … And, yes, the fact that Kennedy was compared to being the same type of pitcher as Mike Mussina, and was actually rated higher than Phil Hughes by the baseball experts [before both pitched in the majors], raises even more concerns about Ian Kennedy ….. Is he good enough to pitch in the big leagues? … Is Kennedy just a (AAAA) pitcher, somewhere between (AAA) and the Major Leagues? … And, would it be better off for Kennedy and the Yankees, if Kennedy was traded, giving him a fresh start on another team where there is less pressure? … The Yankees gave Kennedy [and, Phil Hughes] every opportunity to succeed last year, but both have yet to prove that they are capable of starting at the big league level over the course of a full season … At this point though, I would think most would agree, Phil Hughes is more advanced than Ian Kennedy as a starting pitcher, and would be the first starter called-up from the minors if the Yankees needed a 5th or 6th starter !!! … Regarding Kennedy’s comments last August, after his 10-5 loss to the Angels, it really goes beyond being just “one silly remark” !!! … It was also Kennedy’s casual attitude towards the loss, and the way he answered the questions in the interview, as well as, saying, “he was not upset about the loss” … The simple fact is: Ian Kennedy did not take responsibility for the loss, or his bad pitching performance that day !!! … If he had taken responsibility, there would not have been this major controversy [at the time] about his poor pitching performance that day, and his unfortunate comments, that filled the Newspapers, TV Sports Shows, Sports Talk Radio, Baseball sites and Blogs on the Internet, etc. !!! … I really hope Ian Kennedy learned a valuable lesson from all the events that took place in his baseball life last season; and, I wish him well, in 2009, and throughout the rest of his baseball career !!! … ossian7, thanks again for your visit, and comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY] http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

  17. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, ossian7 … [again] !!!

    My above response to your comments ran a little long, focusing mainly on Ian Kennedy … So, I just wanted to continue with a few thoughts about Andy Pettitte [in response to your comments about him] !!! … In my view, the main reason most Yankee fans [including myself] were very forgiving of Andy Pettitte was because he has been a major part of all the great Yankee Championship teams from the late 1990’s to this present day; and, he has proven himself to be a “winner” !!! … But, also, when Andy pitches poorly, he always takes full responsibility for the loss, and expresses how sorry he is for not pitching well — always apologizing to his teammates and Yankee fans in his post-game interviews !!! … Pettitte at times may take too much responsibility for Yankee losses in which he was the starting pitcher, but he is always sincere and apologetic when he feels he didn’t do his job on the mound, that resulted in a Yankees loss !!! … Looking back to the Andy Pettitte press conference at the start of spring training last year on February 18, 2008, I wrote a post titled, “The Truth Will Set You Free” about how Andy handled himself that day … From my observations watching the press conference, I wrote: “Andy showed a great deal of class and courage throughout the whole press conference, as he answered all the questions that were asked of him” … “Andy Pettitte was sincere, honest, genuine, humble, and very apologetic, and showed tremendous class, and, also, that he’s human and made some mistakes.” … These are all qualities that Ian Kennedy should look to imitate; and, Andy Pettitte should be an example to Kennedy [and all players], on how to take responsibility for all their actions !!! … Thanks again for your visit, ossian7 !!! ….. Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” ….. To view my post … “The Truth Will Set You Free” … click on: http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/02/the_truth_will_.html

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