Great post from Ken Davidoff:
Andy Pettitte is extremely unhappy with how his negotiations have gone with the Yankees, and the lefthander might be softening on his opposition to rejoining Houston. What once seemed a fait accompli – Pettitte returning to the Yankees for a 12th season in pinstripes – now appears increasingly in jeopardy, although the two sides continue to communicate and they ultimately rank as each other’s first choice.
Pettitte recently rejected the Yankees’ offer of a $10 million salary for 2009, and a team source confirmed a New York Post report that the Yankees, with Texeira’s deal completed, are inclined to offer Pettitte even less money now. Pettitte made $16 million with the Yankees each of the previous two years and hoped to match that salary this year.
The 36-year-old’s grievances with the Yankees feature, most prominently, these three sentiments, according to people familiar with his thinking:
1. Pettitte believes that the Yankees should display more appreciation for all that he has done for them.
2. While the Yankees are asking that Pettitte take a pay cut, the team clearly is not hurting financially, given its large investments in Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett.
3. Pettitte thinks that his 2008 season wasn’t as bad as the Yankees are making it out to be.
Davidoff goes on to say that Pettitte has a history of feeling jilted, which is something I agree with. When Pettitte left the Yankees for Houston in 2004, it was because he felt the Yankees did not make a large enough contract offer quickly enough. When he left Houston for the Yankees for the 2007 season, it was because he felt Houston didn’t do enough to get him back.
I am by no means close to these negotiations, but I feel that Pettitte’s main issue is the first thing that Davidoff listed: That he is not feeling appreciated by the Yankees for all he has done. Burnett gets $16.5 Million for virtually being barely above average, and the Yankees offer Pettitte, a 12 year Yankee only $10 Million? And don’t forget the constantly injured Carl Pavano was making $11 Million!
I guess I can understand where Pettitte is coming from. $10 Million is really somewhat insulting. But unfortunately, a one-year player in his condition, Yankee veteran or not, is not really worth much more then that. I say he swallows his pride and asks the Yankees for $12 Million. Worst case scenario, they meet halfway and settle on $11 Mil.
UPDATE: Jan 9, 10:30AM
Found an article from Lisa Footer at MLB.com in which the Astro’s GM states that there is no room in Houston’s payroll to fit Pettitte. “We haven’t had any discussion with Andy or his representatives and we don’t see a scenario where he would fit into our payroll scenario at this time,” Wade said to Footer.
A big part of negotiations is leverage. If you are negotiating with a car salesman, he has to want the sale more then you want the car to get the best deal – and its easier to not want the car so much when there are other cars you can choose at other dealers. Right now, Pettitte can only get the Yankee’s car, and he wants it more then they want the sale.