He hasn't pitched since 2010, he's going on 40 years old, he's logged nearly 3,100 career innings and he soon must testify in Roger Clemens perjury trial (again). But Andy Pettitte still thinks he has something left in the tank. The New York Yankees must agree, and they've signed him to a one-year contract for $2.5 million. It's a minor-league deal that includes an invite to spring training — which has been going on for a month now, by the way.
Jack Curry of YES had the news first. This turn of events should not be surprising, given the Yankees' and Pettitte's inability to quit each other. But it's the middle of March, and the Yankees already have a surplus of starting pitching: CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia. Not to mention a couple of kids — Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances.
Here's a video of Pettitte calling into a Yankees broadcast to explain himself.
And yet, there's no way they could say no to Andy.
Curry says that, back in December, Yankees GM Brian Cashman made a $10-12 million offer for Pettitte to come out of retirement, which he obviously turned down. Not long after, Cashman made the deals for Kuroda and Pineda to shore up New York's rotation. Come February, Pettitte volunteered to throw batting practice in spring training, even if he said he was just "hanging out" at Yankees camp. Yeah, right.
Besides, Pineda is concerning the Yankees — or at least the Yankees media — with low velocity, high weight and fears of how he'll handle the big city. Hughes is coming off his career hitting rock bottom. Garcia just hurt his hand on a comebacker. Nova was great as a rookie, but seems due for regression. Kuroda is old and no longer protected by Dodger Stadium.
But Pettitte is oldest of all! He does have 240 career victories (and 19 more in the playoffs, a major-league record). How funny would it be if he came back throwing harder than Pineda? Pettitte was an All-Star in his previous, thought-to-be-final season in 2010. Not that he'll be ready for opening day, but if Pettitte could pick up where he left off, the Yankees might have something.
Meanwhile, Roy Oswalt remains unemployed.