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Eight Good Things Pettitte Brings to the Yankees
By mvyb, 09.12.2006, 18:24

In this morning's New York Post article, Joel Sherman discussed the eight benefits the Yankees now have with Andy Pettitte on their team.

1. Under the best-case scenario, the Yanks would have the veteran quintet of Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Chien-Ming Wang starting and import Kei Igawa either in the bullpen or at Columbus. But how often does the best case play out? Johnson and Pavano are coming back from significant injuries. Pettitte's presence enables each to rehab without pressure that they must be ready to start the season.

2. The stress is lessened around Igawa. If he needs to be in the minors for an adjustment period, so be it.

3. Scott Proctor can stay in the pen, where he proved so valuable, rather than being forced into the rotation.

4. The team's prospects get more than a great role model to see in spring training. Pettitte's arrival also means the Yanks can keep all of their prospects, notably Phil Hughes, in the minors to begin the season to continue their education. No one has to be rushed now. This also provides a stockpile of options for when the inevitable injuries occur. Between Double-A and Triple-A, the Yanks should have Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, Tyler Clippard, Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner and Steven White vying to be summoned. It is the best Yankees depth in a while.

5. With Pettitte enabling the organization to have greater minor-league depth, the Yanks are in better position to use the depth to make a trade now for, say, a first baseman, or in spring training, or in the June/July trade market when a need arises.

6. Now if Pavano really does come to camp in shape and pitching well, the Yanks might be able to trade his whole contract. He has two years at $23 million left and, in this runaway market, that might be viewed as a worthwhile gamble for a club desperate for a starter.

7. The market must be factored into all of this. The Yanks needed to add a proven starter. Does Pettitte come with risk? You bet. He has a touchy elbow and he is returning from the NL to the AL. But the whole landscape is filled with risk. And at two years and $32 million, Pettitte is a better risk than Ted Lilly at four years ($40 million), Gil Meche at five years ($55 million) and Barry Zito at what probably will be six years (near $100 million). Pettitte could turn out to be a mistake, but it goes away in two years, maximum.

8. Pettitte's arrival also might serve as inducement to bring Roger Clemens back to The Bronx. Pettitte's departure from Houston severely dampens the chance the Rocket goes back to the Astros should he again, as expected, decide to play. The Red Sox appear the favorite because Clemens was trying to get back there in July last year for all the marketing and nostalgic reasons associated with going full-circle with Boston. But the Yanks, should they decide they even want Clemens, are now better positioned to get him because his pal, Pettitte, has done his own full circle.


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