Two Is a Trend: Pettitte Opts Out

Andy Pettitte has declined his option, according to Pete Abe, though he still may re-up with the Yankees—it’s either that or retirement, according to his agents, the Hendricks brothers. By declining the option, he gives himself more time for his decision, though the Yanks probably aren’t happy to be waiting on his decision. Depending on your perspective, this is either a disaster (he was the team’s best 2nd half pitcher) or a blessing (it clears the way for Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy to join the rotation along with Wang and Moose). Big news. Talk amongst yourselves.

25 comments… add one
  • If I’m Pettitte’s agent, the opt-out is a no-brainer. Pettitte, if he wants to come back, will basically be able to name the price at which he comes back. Plus, he can add another option year as well. The Yanks are not exactly negotiating from a position of strength.

    Nick-YF November 5, 2007, 9:19 pm
  • if I can play the Columbia Law professor role here, I think this means Pettitte’s coming back next season. If he truly wanted to retire, he could pick up the option and then in a week tell the Yanks he’s done and they wouldn’t have to pay him for next season. He declined the option probably at the recommendation of his agent to get a little more money and security out of the Yanks. They will renegotiate a contract soon.

    Nick-YF November 5, 2007, 9:24 pm
  • By Pettitte declining the option it also frees up a roster spot for the Yankees until he can make a decision. Call me naive but I honestly believe that this is ALL about Pettitte not being sure he wants to pitch and has nothing to do with getting more money from the Yankees. Andy has always been focused on his family and his religion, I would think it just comes down to that and his desire once again.
    “Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.” – Randy Hendricks

    John - YF November 5, 2007, 9:25 pm
  • I do think that the Yankees will call up the Hendrick’s brothers and throw them a bigger # then the original $16M. Simply because they need him in 2008. They cannot go into the season with their rotation being comprised of 3 rookies/youngsters. So Nick I think you are correct that he will get more then the original 16.

    John - YF November 5, 2007, 9:28 pm
  • I don’t buy the roster spot excuse. As it stands, the Yanks are in limbo until Andy decides. He could have picked up the option and told them that he still was in the process of deciding and it would be the same thing for Cashman and the decision-makers.

    Nick-YF November 5, 2007, 9:28 pm
  • ok, I’m an idiot. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything one way or the other in terms of what Andy wants to do. But, by declining the option, Andy is setting himself up for a bigger pay-day. That said, he still could retire.

    Nick-YF November 5, 2007, 9:38 pm
  • Nick, You didn’t think I was calling you an idiot did you?

    John - YF November 5, 2007, 9:42 pm
  • John, no not at all! No,I was just think out loud.

    Nick-YF November 5, 2007, 9:54 pm
  • This just in:
    The sun declared today that it will no longer shine over Yankee Stadium.
    Oh and the pinstripes are retiring too.

    IronHorse (yf) November 5, 2007, 11:19 pm
  • In my deranged imagination, Andy is opting out so that he’ll be free to hunt A-Rod across the country. “Bring me the head of Alex Rodriguez” or something. Man, that could be a killer western.

    East River Blues November 5, 2007, 11:25 pm
  • Also, does anyone on this site know of secret enclaves of Yankee fans in Boston? Maybe a clandestine bar? I could really use one of those.

    East River Blues November 5, 2007, 11:26 pm
  • Meanwhile, Curt tells the Boston Herald that he’s getting close to a deal to return to the Sox for a year…

    Hudson November 5, 2007, 11:42 pm
  • As a SF, I actually am not sure if I want Schilling back. That would push either Lester/Buchholz out of the rotation and bakc to AAA. It’d probably be Buck, but neither really needs more AAA. However… that oen DOES get to come up with Schillings inevitable injury. Or massive inneffectiveness.
    I KNOW Schilling has maanged to somewhat reinvent himself as a finnesse pithcer but he doesnt go deep into games, even when winning, anymore.. that depletes the Bullpen. Plus if he retires, no draft picks.
    I’d rather sign Lowell, bring in a 5th starter via trade, and get Schilling’s draft picks. Dionysus love draft.
    Ii suppose we could use Lester/Bucky as long releif out of the pen…. but then what do we do with Snyder? He isnt worth much in a trade (maybe just a piece of whatever deal involves Coco?)

    Dionysus November 6, 2007, 12:40 am
  • I don’t see how this move is anything but leverage (i.e. contract value) for Pettitte. That’s not to say I think it’s a bad move at all (it’s not), but he only gives himself leverage by declining the option, particularly if he (or, more likely, the Hendricks brothers) think the $16M number is undervaluing his services. He has already said it’s the Yankees or noone, so if you believe him why couldn’t he have just exercised his option then retired when he made a decision? The Yankees wouldn’t be on the hook for anything if he did that, and their roster would be equally as unknown, particularly if Pettitte qualified his exercising of the option.
    So, it’s either scenario a: exercise the option, still consider retirement or b: decline the option, still consider retirement. Which one gives AP more leverage? The former, quite obviously. Pettitte has smart agents.

    SF November 6, 2007, 6:05 am
  • after initially being disappointed with this announcement, i’ve now come to grips with it…the yankees already have holes the size of the grand canyon, but it may be time to move on with some of these guys, and really turn the team over…it is a little puzzling though…andy had leverage last year with the yankees, so if it’s about money, why didn’t he ask for more then…he did say he would only play for the yankees or not at all, and he’s never given us a reason not to believe he’s a man of his word, but electing free agency now gives him the chance to pitch in houston 1 more time…

    dc November 6, 2007, 7:06 am
  • Perhaps, dc. I suppose I am just completely cynical, particularly with anything involving the Hendricks brothers (or Boras, for that matter). I simply don’t understand the “roster flexibility” excuse. Is there a 40 man roster fix-date arriving soon? How does this help the Yankees with regards to arbitration offers to other players, waiver designations, etc.? Can someone who knows the Yankee system better than me help me out?

    SF November 6, 2007, 8:34 am
  • I just took off my Yankee blinders, so this comment is totally free of Yankee bias.
    There must be a deeper meaning to him opting out. If Hendricks commented on a roster spot, it must possess some value for Cashman/Yankees. Otherwise why make the statement?
    Second, like I said I think Andy will get more then $16M when he returns, but I don’t think that was HIS intentions. Maybe it was the intentions of his agents, but not his.

    John - YF November 6, 2007, 9:11 am
  • i think that the Hendricks will use this to get another extension for Andy and maybe another .5 mil. Pettitte is the anti-Arod in every way and i still remain hopefull that he doesnt retire. He has repeatedly said how good he has felt all year and he clearly still has his cokmpetitive fire. To me, its a no-brainer, but then again i dont throw a 93 mph cut fastball and Im not from Louisiana.

    sam-YF November 6, 2007, 9:18 am
  • As for Pettite’s possible departure clearing up a rotation spot for Kennedy – the Yanks are going to need 6 starters anyway next year. Barring injury, the 3 young’uns are going to reach their career highs for innings sometime in August, at which point you’re risking both short-term ineffectiveness and long-term injury.
    Were I Cashman, I would seriously consider going with 6 starters and giving some scheduled and staggered time off over the course of the year to Joba, Kennedy, & the Franchise.

    Mark (YF) November 6, 2007, 10:06 am
  • SF, I’m as cynical as you are.

    Nick-YF November 6, 2007, 10:10 am
  • I’m amazed that I’m not seeing more YFs worried about the prospect of Moose being back in the starting rotation.

    LocklandSF November 6, 2007, 10:20 am
  • seems to me he just wants more time to decide if he’s coming back and he had to let them know about the option before he was ready to make the decision…thus he opted out. No biggie. He’ll be back or he won’t. On top of everything else going on…is anyone surprised? I’m still scared Cashman is going to give up the house for Cabrera!

    krueg November 6, 2007, 10:38 am
  • The remainder of the articles about this quote Cashman as stating that Andy has a standing $16M offer here with the Yankees if he chooses to take it.
    It didn’t sound to me as if Andy and the Yankees are far apart about money. Andy has been talking retirement for a while now. I think he’s really uncertain about whether he wants to play. If he does, he’s been content with $16M a year for each of the last three years or so. I’d expect that figure to continue, and the deal to remain one year a time.

    Carlos November 6, 2007, 12:19 pm
  • Surely Pettitte knows he’d be leaving the Yankees in a bind by leaving this year (as opposed to next, when all the kids have more innings/experience under their respective belts). Does this play into his thought process at all, do you think?

    Paul SF November 6, 2007, 3:08 pm
  • I don’t understand the speculating re: Pettitte’s move. I don’t think it is about testing waters – Pettitte said Yankees or bust and he is nothing if not honorable when it comes to living up to his word – and I don’t think it is about making more money. He feels NY went on a limb for him by offering a $16m option and he is nto the kind of guy to now stick it to them just because he can.
    It seems clear to me why he would do this as opposed to opting in and then leaving. If he did the latter all the news would be about him coming back and should he decide in a few months that he wants out, it would be a “Pettitte leaves the Yankees in the lurch” headline. He doesn’t yet know what he wants so he is preserving his option by waiting things out a bit.
    I would be willing to bet that if he decides to come back, it will be for the $16mill he was already offered or – at the very most – marginally more than this.
    As it is, the Yankees have to assume that he is gone and work in the off-season on that basis. If he had opted in with uncertainty, they and all Yankee fans would have assumed he was in and then gone crazy if he opted out, as if he reversed course when in fact he would have simply been making his mind up at his own pace.

    IronHorse (yf) November 6, 2007, 4:21 pm

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