Monday, January 26, 2009

Throwing good money after bad

So it turns out that the most appalling off-season largess ever doled out has just a little bit more to go. As if throwing $49 million at the top of the rotation wasn't enough, the Yankees announced today that their courtship of Andy Pettitte has been consummated. For the privilege of tacking the now barely serviceable Pettitte to the end of the rotation, the Yanks are on the hook for another $5.5 million, with incentive clauses that could mean another $6.5 million.

Are they kidding? Did anyone else notice Pettitte’s record after the All-Star break last season? In 13 starts, he went 4-7 with 5.35 ERA and a .302 opponents’ batting average. Pettitte is a mere shell of the pitcher he was before, and he's only getting older. (I guess the HGH is harder to come by these days.) Pettitte isn't worth $6,000 at this point, let alone $6 million. (Here's hoping that those incentives are based on more than just games started or innings pitched... not that he'll be hard-pressed to meet those, too.)

Let’s make sure that Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy get plenty of starts under their belts at AAA. That way, when they are inevitably pressed into service to take over Pettitte’s rotation spot, they’ll be ready. I only hope that Joe Girardi and the Yankees' brass keep a short leash on their latest Pettitte experiment. Like Yogi used to say, it gets late early around the A.L. East these days. Watching Pettitte self-immolate on the mound isn't going to be much fun with very little margin for error in arguably baseball's best division.

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