December 08, 2006

Yankees Ink Pettitte To One-Year Deal: One year, $16 Million, with an option for 2008. Could this mean Roger Clemens will be back in pinstripes too?

posted by dyams to baseball at 08:46 PM - 41 comments

i hope not. roger cheated the yanks by saying that he was going to retire. so they gave him a retirement party and gave him a car and everything. so then what does he do? he goes and sign w/ the astros. could someone please take the knife out of the yankees back? roger is a great pitcher but also a backstabber.

posted by nort_12345 at 10:11 PM on December 08, 2006

roger cheated the yanks by saying that he was going to retire. What, you guys didn't see that coming?!? Talk about those who forget the lessons of history. If this does pan out the way it's being spun, I think it's pretty funny how Clemens is following Pettitte around from city to city...

posted by Venicemenace at 11:31 PM on December 08, 2006

I doubt that Yankee fans will really remember what happened if Roger pitches in the second half and helps them get through the playoffs.

posted by dfleming at 11:39 PM on December 08, 2006

Is it too early to start complaining about the Yankees ruining baseball? Not that I'm upset they got Pettitte back, I love cheering against that bugger. It makes it easier now since I cheer for whoever's playing against the Yankees anyway.

posted by fenriq at 01:36 AM on December 09, 2006

It all seems like a bit of a wash to me. Maybe Clemens retiring then coming back to pitch for another team was a bit shady, but on the other hand, the Yanks have taken heat for allowing Pettitte, one of their most loyal, hard-working players in recent history, leave a couple years ago without making a legitimate offer. So actually, the Yanks got a good taste of it from both sides. I'm glad Pettitte is back with the team, regardless of whether or not Clemens follows suit. I do think Roger will look back on some of his poor run support last season in Houston when making his decision. One of the crucial issues the Yanks will have to decide on is if they will be willing to give Clemens all his contractual demands, such as he was given in Houston. Things such as only showing up on days he's to pitch, etc., may be a tough sell on a team that still doesn't allow facial hair. In the end, I think Clemens will pitch another half year with Houston, unless his desire for more big headlines (which switching back to New York would give him) is too much of a temptation.

posted by dyams at 07:32 AM on December 09, 2006

My jaw dropped when i heard Andy resigned with the Yanks, I'm happy for him tho, he didn't want to leave New York in the first place. The Astro's never gave him any run support so good for him. It kills me to watch the Astro's. they can't ever seem to get it done.

posted by texasred at 09:06 AM on December 09, 2006

I't getting harder and harder to hate the Yankees. What do Pettitte, Johnson, A-Rod, Jeter, Matsui, Damon,Torres etc etc.have in common? They all seem like pretty nice guys in interviews I've seen. Since Sheffields gone who's not to like? The only one I can think of is the owner.

posted by pasoball at 09:09 AM on December 09, 2006

16 Million for 1 year seems like an awful lot for a guy who has seemed to have an injury bug the last couple of seasons. He is great when he is healthy- let the yankees have him. The NL Central is shaping up to be tough enough on my WORLD CHAMPION CARDINALS!! (I love typing that!!)

posted by pcbenedict at 09:18 AM on December 09, 2006

A-Rod......pretty nice guy are you kidding me

posted by lucky23pjq at 04:31 PM on December 09, 2006

good riddance for the astros organization. i'm very happy to hear he left finally. we could find a starting picture with his record for a lot less money. the yankees could spend a billion dollars a year. they will never ever be the dominant team they used to be.

posted by dmontez1392 at 05:43 PM on December 09, 2006

"A-Rod......pretty nice guy" You must be a Boston Fan, that sucks too be you. Too bad your not gonna win for another 100 years. A-Rod is a good guy plays hard just gets alot of crap thrown back in his face.

posted by yachts360 at 06:53 PM on December 09, 2006

Love or Loathe the Yankees, Pettite for $16 million in this marketplace is one of the best deals this whole off-season. Better than Schmidtt, Lilly, Meche or Eaton - that's for damn sure.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:15 PM on December 09, 2006

Hey nort... Does that mean EVERY athlete that retires, then comes back is a "backstabber" ? How many people has guys like George Foreman and Evander Holyfield and many others, stabbed ? If guys like Clemens still have the talent (and he did) I think that they should continue on, if that is something they desire.

posted by nflhou02 at 09:20 PM on December 09, 2006

good riddance for the astros organization. Yeah, the Astros have such a great track record of obtaining top-level talent. Give me a break. The team has always, for the most part, sucked. Don't ever talk shit about a guy like Andy Pettitte. He's a class person, period.

posted by dyams at 09:55 PM on December 09, 2006

cool your jets, dyams. he's not tallking shit, he's saying Pettitte is not worth 16 mil a season... not exactly a bold statement, considering the guy's 4.20 ERA last season. Forget run support (which gets considerably better with Carlos Lee playing 82 games in a matchbox...) Pettitte is on his way downhill, and wants to cash in. Good for him, the Yankees are the perfect organization to do so with. But thank you Pettitte for being an instrumental part of the 'Stros WS run. You're a great pitcher. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

posted by coryphaeus at 10:48 PM on December 09, 2006

Good Riddance = He's Not Worth $16 Million? Sorry, didn't know. Consider my jets cooled.

posted by dyams at 07:54 AM on December 10, 2006

Hi, yachts360. Please read the user guidelines. Thanks!

posted by swerve at 12:45 PM on December 10, 2006

he's saying Pettitte is not worth 16 mil a season... To put this into perspective, if one guy had to pay his salary, he'd have to kick in 16 Million. (I know, I lifted Dennis Miller). Another way to look at it, if he wins 16 (he could, with that lineup) he'd make 1 mil per, so about $10,000 a pitch. [Joe Buck] "Well, that was a tough 27 pitch inning ... but on the bright side he made a quarter million dollars ..."

posted by smithnyiu at 01:19 PM on December 10, 2006

Pettitte was a clutch pitcher in his 10 years with New York, and probably still has another good season or two left in him. If were a Yankees fan, though, I'd be a bit concerned about the collection of aging millionaires they have been gathering. While you definitely need experience to win championships, recently the Yankees have lacked that solid nucleus or chemistry that made them something special in the late 90s. Pettitte, ironically enough, kind of represents are return to that (he's a team guy that came up through the Yankee farm system), but I doubt it will make much of a difference. The Yanks seem to be doing everything they can to put off having to rebuild, and while they have consistently have the largest payroll in the game for more than ten years, they have not one a championship since 2000.

posted by psmealey at 01:51 PM on December 10, 2006

Oddly, until this signing, they had been getting younger and cheaper this offseason. This blows that out the window, though.

posted by tieguy at 02:00 PM on December 10, 2006

I just think it's wierd the yankees will probably get Clemens now the guy is great but he drives me nuts signing for millions when he was supposed to retire years ago is he worried about Maddux catching up to him or what?

posted by luther70 at 02:04 PM on December 10, 2006

The Yankee's are starting to look like the Dodgers of the 90's. They had great success in the 80's and then started chasing the wins by picking up older rejects like Eric Davis and Daryl Strawberry, only to watch them break down. Now the Yankees are haunted by their success in the 90's and need to pay to keep a contender on the field. When you're winning, people will take pay cuts to play for you (Malone and Payton to the Lakers, Corey Dillon to the Pats etc...). When you're a loser, you gotta give people some incentives to show up. Especially when you add in the factor that the Yankees definately face the toughest media and fans (not to mention owner).

posted by yay-yo at 07:41 PM on December 10, 2006

everyone was all like yay we signed a power hitter no we cant sign pettite or clemens and lee is like 500 pounds plus we r trying to trade for ghe overated garland and give up like taverez i hate the astros

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 08:50 PM on December 10, 2006

Hi Barry, I know you won't take this the wrong way... please don't use text message/IM speak. But do use punctuation here and there, please. Thanks dude. I do agree with you about the Astros though. It seems to be a phenomenon this offseason with odd moves, and strangely high contracts. Guess it's just product of a weak FA market this year.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:23 PM on December 10, 2006

Pettitte was a clutch pitcher in his 10 years with New York I don't see it. He's had 30 starts in the post-season with the Yankees. 186.2 IP and 84ER gives him a 4.05 post-season ERA. In his 283 starts in the regular season with the Yankees, he threw 1792.2 IP, allowed 785ER, giving him a 3.94 regular-season ERA. He has a .656 winning percentage in the regular season as a Yankee, but a.619 winning percentage in the post-season as a Yankee. If anything, he's been just a little bit worse in the post-season than the regular season (as a Yankee). Granted, he's been good (not great) for the Yankees in the regular season (119 ERA+), but he hasn't really shown a "clutch" ability that people associate with pitchers like Koufax (2.76 ERA in the regular season, 0.95 ERA in the post-season) or Mariano Rivera (2.29 ERA in the regular season, 0.80 ERA in the post-season). Side note: Holy crap, Rivera is better than I expected in the post-season. I knew he was good, but that's superhuman.

posted by grum@work at 09:35 PM on December 10, 2006

Rivera is a machine. Completely insane. Honestly, I'm surprised it is 0.8- it must have crept up the past couple offseasons.

posted by tieguy at 06:12 AM on December 11, 2006

Let's not forget that a large part of that 0.80 is losing game 7 of the 01 World Series, and Game 4 of the 04 ALCS. But it's still a good number, I guess. Completely insane? No, but still one of the best closers ever.

posted by smithnyiu at 08:11 AM on December 11, 2006

When Pettitte left the Yankees after the 2003 season to sign with his hometown Astros, he felt unwanted by New York. This time, he felt unappreciated by Houston. I'm sorry, but boo flippin' hoo, pal. Where's he going to run to next to fill that internal void? How many dollars does it take to make you feel loved, Andy? I would be completely flabbergasted if Clemens actually followed him over to New York. I don't see it happening at all.

posted by evixir at 08:50 AM on December 11, 2006

How many dollars does it take to make you feel loved, Andy? $16 million, with an option for 2008.

posted by dyams at 09:08 AM on December 11, 2006

No, but still one of the best closers ever. I don't believe that "closers" should win Cy Young Awards (not enough innings pitched each season), in the same way I don't believe pinch-hitters should win MVP awards. I think the closer is the most overrated position in baseball, and probably the most overpaid one as well. I don't believe that there is some "special skill" in being a closer, other than being a good pitcher. That said, what Rivera has done in the regular season and (especially) in the post-season, it's without even a hint of doubt in my mind that I say he's the best "closer" in baseball history. Eckersley might have had a better single season (1990), but nobody has put up a career like Mariano Rivera. If you are going to put closers into the HOF, then he is the gold standard for the position.

posted by grum@work at 11:16 AM on December 11, 2006

Very well put, grum. I agree with everything you just said, with the exception of a "special skill". Closers generally have to be in a groove with their first pitch, whereas starters have more time and / or chances to recover from leadoff walks or hits. A lot of starters have bigger ERA's in the first inning than innings 2 on.

posted by smithnyiu at 11:41 AM on December 11, 2006

I think the closer is the most overrated position in baseball For a very short time awhile back, I was starting to think the same thing. You never realize, however, how tough it is for a team to succeed without a dominant closer until you don't have a dominant closer. Look at teams who lose their star closer for a period of time and try to plug someone into that role. It's not easy to do. There are guys who can do it here and there, but if your closer is only successful half the time, you're going to lose quite a few games. Closers' stats can be padded, of course, based on the situations they come into (based on the definition of what constitutes a save), but the great closers (like Rivera) seem to go about their business with so much success, it's easy for fans to become complacent and to just expect they'll never blow a lead. Plus, these guys have to be ready several games per week, which means not only pitching in actual games, but warming up all the time, too (whether they end up coming into the game or not). Some closers find their arm gets so fatigued by that schedule that by the end of the year, they've lost quite a bit on their pitches. I really think that due to the physical toll required for a closer, as well as the mental aspect of the position (often inheriting a mess created by another pitcher), they definitely earn respect. Look at the mindset of teams who play the Yankees, for instance, when they know if they don't have a lead late in a game, they'll have to come back against Mariano. There's many aspects involved in someone being a quality closer. And even though Rivera has been given a lot of credit in the above posts, these things go for any really good closer.

posted by dyams at 11:48 AM on December 11, 2006

Is it too early to start complaining about the Yankees ruining baseball? The Washington Nationals signed a guy in his 30's to an 8-year contract. The Kansas City Royals signed Gil Freakin' Meche to a 5-year $55 million contract. The Yankees sign a proven veteran front line starter to a one-year contract for $16 mil, and they're ruining baseball. Classic. Oddly, until this signing, they had been getting younger and cheaper this offseason. This blows that out the window, though. I totally disagree. The Pettitte signing falls right in line with their new youth movement. They're only committed to Pettitte for one year, two tops, which buys them some time to groom the youngsters. If the Yankees didn't sign a Pettitte and just threw their young guys into the rotation, people would be jumping all over them for rushing. Judging from the salaries being thrown at the other pitchers so far, and given where the Yankees are in terms of their interior development, I think this signing is pretty much the best one they could have possibly made this off-season.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2006

All good points and well-said, BullpenPro.

posted by dyams at 01:04 PM on December 11, 2006

Hrm, yeah, makes sense- hadn't thought about the contract length.

posted by tieguy at 02:43 PM on December 11, 2006

Yep, BPP, absolutely. It's a great move. A 34 year-old soon to be 200 game winner who doesn't melt under Yankee Stadium lights for two years? A two year contract for a known quantity like Pettite? As their third guy? Where the fuck does my team sign up for such terrible deals?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:22 PM on December 11, 2006

Is it too soon to blame the Kansas City Royals for ruining baseball? Technically, I guess they're not really ruining baseball, just the quality of baseball played in Kansas City.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:46 AM on December 12, 2006

I don't see it. Yeah, I'm way out of my league in terms of trying to construct a stats-based argument for Pettitte's "clutchiness", and I'm no Yankee fan. Anecdotally, I just remember a game he pitched in the 1996 world series (and a few others that year) that was truly outstanding. The announcers' buzz at the time was that Pettitte was a guy who gave you innings throughout the course of a season but he really shone in October. I assumed this was true, but likely was just hyperbole. Agree with Weedy. Many, many outstanding veteran pitchers have wilted in the Bronx. Pettitte has proven time and again that he can succeed there, so not a terribly bad signing for them at all.

posted by psmealey at 08:01 AM on December 12, 2006

Pettitte seems to place a lot of value in his perception of a team's desire to sign him. I remember that the last time he was a free agent, the Yankees put him on the back burner while they pursued other players. Although they eventually showed up with a reasonable contract offer, Pettitte was miffed that they weren't going all-out to get him re-signed, and went to Houston for similar money. This time around, Pettitte spurns similar money from Houston to return to NYC, citing the Yankees' desire to sign him and urgency to get a deal done.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:44 AM on December 12, 2006

A lot of players do that though, Venice.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:57 AM on December 12, 2006

The Yankees definately needed another starter, but I think that they may have overpaid by about 8 million. The FA market is extremely shallow this offseason, so I guess you could consider this one of the better "deals" thus far. The Yankees rotation isnt looking so bright nowadays, Wang and Mussinna, along with Johnson and Pettitte with ***sigh*** Carl Pavano as the 5th starter. If everyone stays healthy *chuckles* the Yankees will have a great season. But hey, we could have paid about $100 million dollars for someone who's never thrown a pitch in the MLB. So in contrast, this deal dosen't seem so bad after all.

posted by Kendall at 04:04 PM on December 14, 2006

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