"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pettitte discusses last season, contract

Mark Feinsand spoke to Andy Pettitte yesterday on everything from how badly injured he was at the end of last season to the contract he recently signed.

Pettitte also disclosed just how bad his shoulder hurt him in the final month or two of 2008, saying he had to take cortisone injections just to get through some of his starts. Given the way his season finished, he knew he was going to have to take a pay cut from the $16 million he made last year, so why didn't Pettitte just take the $10 million offer?

"I feel like I'm going to throw over 200 innings and win hopefully 15-20 games for this team, so I felt like I should make over $10 (million)," Pettitte said. "I didn't care how I had to get to it, and I would bet on me being healthy to do that. That's why I did the contract that I did. If I'm not healthy, if I don't pitch well and get to the innings I need to get, then I don't feel like I need to make the money."

Pettitte said the rumors that he was going to join Joe Torre in Los Angeles were not true, and that while he did talk to Torre - something he does quite often each year - he never considered playing for any team other than the Yankees. In fact, he said his friends had a running joke all winter that by the time spring training rolled around, Pettitte would be paying the Yankees to let him pitch for them.

Pettitte said he was a little puzzled as the negotiations went on, having watched the Yankees shell out $243.5 million for CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, but he also understood and respected the fact that Brian Cashman and the front office had to make hard decisions.

"You don't throw a pity party for yourself," Pettitte said. "They're an organization, this is business and they have to make decisions," he said. "I understand that. These guys are young, they had unbelievable years and they're committing years to these guys. For me, it's a one-year deal. … This organization has paid me well. I appreciate this organization."
It's good to hear Pettitte come out and say these things about the contract. During the course of the winter, we got the idea that Pettitte was just out for the money. But who knows: maybe he was, and he's just trying to save face as spring training commences.

It's interested to hear how badly he was hurting. He is traditionally a second-half pitcher, but his ERA ballooned to 5.35 post-All-Star break last season. If he stays healthy, look for him to rebound nicely.


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