|Pettitte Solidifies Strong Yankees Rotation|
Written by Adam Adkins (Contact & Archive) on February 04, 2009
How important is Andy Pettitte? Let's lay down what he is.Â
-About a fourth starter in the AL
-A 'True' Yankee'Â
The left-handedness is valuable, but it doesn't make up for his age and lack of skill.Â The way I see it, Pettitte had exactly noÂ bargaining chips in his negotiations with the New York Yankees.Â But he refused several contract offers, including ones for 11 and 10 million.ÂÂ
So, imagine my surprise when he took a 5.5 million dollar offer instead.Â It should be noted that the deal is incentive-laden.Â But, still, Andy, what's the deal?Â I understand being like CC Sabathia and taking high dollar without a second thought, but Pettitte had NO other bidders (he claimed that another team offered him 3/36... really?) and NO bargaining power.Â My only guess is he knew the Yanks would give him some easy incentives, like 150 innings pitched or 23 starts or 100 strikeouts.
So, Pettitte is a Yankee, after much worry (kidding).Â But what effect does he have?
What about Ian Kennedy, you ask?Â
He's gotta go.Â I hate to be that way, but the Yanks cannot allow low-strikeout mediocre-control guys develop in the Majors.Â Those innings are valuable and cannot be wasted.Â
Now, let's also consider that signing Pettitte removes any semblance that the Yankees could go for Ben Sheets.Â It's been a bit mystifying that Sheets has gone unnoticed and unwanted.Â His elbow is apparently shredded, so I can understand why the Yankees avoided him, but those kinds of chances -- when you don't need an ace or a lot of dependability -- are the ones the Yanks can take that others cannot, simply because of more available funds.Â That's an advantage, Mr. Cashman: start using it.Â
Back to the rotation for a minute.Â Pettitte is a very good end-of-the-rotation option, the kind of guy that really good baseball teams have.Â Just think: the 2008 Phillies had Jon Blanton; the 2007 Red Sox had Timmy Wakefield and Jon Lester.Â Maybe the Yankees need a guy named Jon, but Iâ€™m betting a guy named Andy will do.Â
Where does this put them in terms of best rotations in baseball?Â Pretty darn high.Â Just speaking of the top 3, few can compete.Â Perhaps Lester-Beckett-Matsuzaka-Smoltz, but thereâ€™s tons of injury risk there.Â Lincecum-Cain-Johnson is really good and underrated.Â Lackey-Santana-Saunders?Â Very strong.Â Webb-Haren-Davis?Â Top two is the best in the game, but Davis doesnâ€™t compare.
Overall, the Yankees rotation has depth and productivity.Â Few can say they have a potential ace as their fourth starter, and no one this side of San Francisco, Queens or Toronto has a better ace.ÂÂ
Simply put, pitching shouldnâ€™t be the problem (if there is one) for the 2009 New York Yankees.
Does Pettitte re-signing give the Yankees the best rotation in the Majors? Let us hear your comments below.