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Andy Pettitte loves the Yankees.

The Yankees love Andy Pettitte.

Yet the return of Pettitte to the Bronx in 2009 is still not a lock — even though the Yanks need starting pitching like Sean Avery needs a muzzle — because of one very not-so-simple thing.

Cold, hard cash.

After not being offered arbitration earlier this week, which would have at least guaranteed him his $16 million 2008 salary, the native Texan and his agent are sticking to their guns and saying that's the magic number to get Dandy Andy out of bed next year.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are offering $10 million for the one-year contract, preferring to save the cash for better free agent hurlers who may or may not be interested in joining the club.  

From the New York Times:

"We'd like to have him back," General Manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday. "It's come to the arena of trying to achieve common ground on money, which is easier said than done."

Though we're not talking about CC or Manny-type dollars here, I still think this little spat is fascinating in its own way. On one hand, Pettitte is just like any of us who would bristle at a paycut at any point in our career. On the other, his skills are declining, he already has more money than he could ever spend and the Yankees were supportive in that whole steroid matter earlier this spring. I say the Yanks should offer him $13 million, Pettitte should accept and then we can all call it a day after the lovefest that will inevitably ensue.  

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