Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pettitte would be great Plan B for Rangers

Nolan Ryan denied a report that the Texas Rangers would seek to pry Andy Pettitte away from the New York Yankees, especially if they lose Cliff Lee. But it's a great Plan B for the Rangers if they are considering it.

Pettitte has already left the Yankees for Texas once before when he took a lot less money on the open market to sign with his hometown Houston Astros. The pull of family could make him receptive to an offer from the Rangers to play closer to home. But Pettitte has admitted he missed the intensity of the Yankee Stadium atmosphere while he was in Houston, which makes it unlikely that he would consider again abandoning his pinstripes, unless he can be convinced that the Rangers are primed for a return trip to the World Series.

For the Rangers and Ryan, acquiring Pettitte makes a lot of sense. They wouldn't have to commit the years and dollars that they must if they really want to retain Lee since Pettitte is perfectly happy going on yearly contracts. Pettitte is a lot older than Lee, but also a lot cheaper and has a proven record as a postseason winner. And signing a local star like Pettitte would take the sting out of losing Lee for the Rangers fan base and give them a reason to keep coming back to the ballpark.

Do I think Pettitte would sign with the Rangers? No. Despite what would be a really attractive offer from the Rangers, I believe Pettitte means it when he says he will either sign with the Yankees or retire. So all Pettitte needs to decide is whether he has one more season left in him. I really hope he does because the Yankees still need him.

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