Monday, March 19, 2012

Quick Thoughts on the Pettite Signing

Over the last few days, the Yankees blogoverse has lost it's collective shit over the signing of Andy Pettite to a contract. I suppose, since I have just gotten back into following baseball over the last couple years, I don't have the long history with Pettite that others do. And, I suppose that is the point. I will grant that he had a pretty nice, if abbreviated, year in 2010. But you have to go back to 2005 to find the previous year that he pitched really well.

From my perspective, the reaction to the signing is nothing more than an irrational outpouring of sentimentality for the years of 1998 to 2000 when the Yankees were last a dynastic team. Pettite is 39 years old, has been out of the game for over a year, and was effectively done with his 2010 season by mid-July. I suppose I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I don't see much good coming from this.

The Yankees came into Spring Training with a pretty solid starting rotation. C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda, and Ivan Nova are all solid. Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia were expected to fight it out for the fifth spot. Hughes is coming off a horrid 2011, but still is a talented young arm. Plus, he should be pretty cheap through 2013. Garcia is the odd man out. I would expect him to be a steady, if unspectacular, pitcher this year. But, the Pettite signing makes him expendable.

My best guess is Andy will be handed a rotation spot sometime in mid to late May and will hold it down all season despite putting up A.J. Burnett-like numbers. In the mean time, Hughes or Nova will be reduced to being the long man and Garcia will be traded to some other team, where he will continue to do a workmanlike job all season. In the end, Yankees fans will be able to wallow in nostalgia for the heady days of the late 20th century while handing away games down the stretch to the always competitive Red Sox and Rays.

Again, I hope I am wrong, but I think this will end poorly.

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