Monday, December 7, 2009

Pettitte contract talks won't be easy

If the Yankees thought re-signing Andy Pettitte was going to be easy, they obviously were mistaken. A report said the Yankee starter turned down the team's first contract offer of about $10 million.

Good for Pettitte. He shouldn't make it easy on the Yanks considering they didn't make it easy on him last year, forcing him to accept a $5.5 million base salary and then bragging about the contract later. His final 2009 paycheck came to about $10.5 million because of incentives. But Pettitte never forgot the Yankees' cold tone in their contract negotiations with him and is unwilling to give them a discount.

Despite his reported lack of desire to sign elsewhere, Pettitte is in a pretty good negotiating position. The Yankees need him due to the lack of dependability from their young starters. It wasn't Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain pitching the closing games of each playoff series this year, it was Pettitte. It wasn't Hughes or Chamberlain that Girardi trusted to be part of his successful three-man rotation. Pettitte doesn't need the Yankees as much as they need him. He can just retire and go home, going out on top as a key part of the Yanks' latest title-winning team, the way all great players should go out.

If the Yanks don't give in to his contract demands, they would be forced to pursue a much-more expensive option in the free-agent or trade markets. Though the Yanks reportedly don't have tremendous interest in John Lackey, they may have to go that route if they lose Pettitte. Here's hoping it doesn't come to that.
Thanks to Googie man via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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