The Yankees will start their arbitration offers today and the players they offer it to have 7 days to decide, which means by Sunday we’ll know who accepts or rejects.

One big issue is Andy Pettitte. He’s been a big part of the Yankee dynasty, and is an effective postseason pitcher, and hey, he did win the last game at Yankee Stadium. He’s gotta be there next year!  Well, no, not exactly. If the Yankees had wanted to keep him around, they’d have signed him before today, and Pettitte’s made it clear he wants to be paid “more” than his $16 million last year (even with all of his problems).

The Yankees have these free agents:

OF Bobby Abreu (Type A)

1B Jason Giambi

RHP Mike Mussina (Type A)

RHP Carl Pavano

LHP Andy Pettitte (Type A)

C Pudge Rodriguez (Type A)

Anthony McCarron of the Daily News sums it up nicely:

Pettitte likely would earn around the $16 million he’s pocketed the last two seasons if he accepts arbitration, but it seems unlikely the Yanks will offer it – if they wanted to pay Pettitte that much money, he’d likely already have been re-signed. Instead, the team wants him to take a pay cut after a 14-14 season. There’s additional intrigue with Pettitte – Joe Torre’s Dodgers have emerged as potential suitors.

Abreu is seeking a three-year deal, something the Yankees apparently have no interest in, because they have not engaged his agent since the end of the season.

Jason Giambi won’t be offered arbitration by the Yankees because they have no incentive to do so – he’s not a Type A or B free agent, so they wouldn’t get compensation elsewhere and, who knows, he might accept.

Meanwhile, the Yankees probably will lose draft picks if their pitching blitz in the free agent market is a success. All of their top targets – CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe – are near-locks to be offered arbitration by their most-recent teams and all are Type A free agents.

My take? The Yankees will offer Mussina, Pettitte and Abreu all arbitration. These players will garner the Yankees two additional draft picks if they sign elsewhere, which is what Abreu will probably do. Mussina will probably 99.99% stay retired and Pettitte is still on the fence.

Check back later today to find out who got arbitration or not.