Yankees Rumors & News
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This past off-season when Andy Pettitte rejected his $16 million player option there was speculation that he could be walking away from baseball for good.

That’s how Pettitte is, family and his personal life are important to him. Even though he is only 36-years-old and still has some innings left in his arm the lure of his Texan home life is strong.

This past winter once he decided to come back, on a sweet $16 million deal, the Mitchell Report was published shortly after and one had to wonder if Pettitte had any regrets. He’s not a man who has a lust for the spotlight and certainly not a negative one.

Almost a year later Pettitte is showing no regrets and is hinting at a 2009 return as well.

“I look at that ballpark next door, and it makes you want to play there,” said Pettitte. “It’s wonderful to look over there and think how special that would be.”

In that article Pettitte goes on to say that his has taken to suburban New York life and his family has as well. So another go around in the Bronx might not be the mental strain on him that it once was.

“We love it, we really do. It feels almost as much as home as Houston does sometimes,” he said. “The people have been so nice to us.”

The question now becomes, would the Yankees want him back next season. Next year’s rotation already has Chien-Ming Wang and probably Joba Chamerbalin penciled and Alfredo Aceves could get another spot.

The question than becomes if they add a free agent starter such as CC Sabathia would the Yankees rather go with the young guys like Ian Kennedy or Phil Hughes or would they rather sign Pettitte and keep the youth as insurance?

That’s a pretty hard question to answer right now, but as Hughes and Kennedy showed this season, they could use some more minor league seasoning.

Looming large is another debate, does Pettitte have enough left in the tank to perform at the high level Yankee fans expect?

His first half numbers were respectable but not great, a 10-7 record with a 4.03 ERA a 1.34 WHIP and a .282 batting average against. The biggest problem with his this season for Pettitte is that he’s traditionally a strong second half performer and we’ve seen him have one of the worst second halves of his career. 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP and a .297 BAA. Not good for a player who typically gets better as the season goes on.

Despite the poor numbers, Pettitte says he has been throwing well and he feels good.

“It’s been terrible now with the stretch I’m on. One win in my last eight starts isn’t good,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m fooling myself, but I feel like I’ve been pitching decent. I’ve been able to throw my off-speed stuff for strikes when I want to, and that’s what pitching is about.”

His manager Joe Girardi seems to have faith that Pettitte’s stuff is still where he wants it to be.

“Absolutely I think he can be effective,” Girardi said. “The second half he’s had some tough losses. He’s thrown some really good games, too. It’s been a decent season. Maybe not the wins we’re accustomed to seeing. But he’s given innings and he’s done his job for the most part.”

You have to wonder though how much of Girardi’s statement is just company rhetoric though. Does he really believe that Pettitte is pitching well or is he just using the company line and putting a happy face on things.

I think this ultimately could come down to dollars. If Pettitte wants $16 million again I don’t think the Yankees are likely to resign him. He’s probably going to have to accept a much lower number where the team doesn’t feel compelled to use him down the stretch if he proves to be unreliable.

I think though that bringing him back at say $6 million could prove to be a wise insurance policy if Hughes, Kennedy, and Aceves don’t have what it takes next year.

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