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December 7, 2006

NY Times: Yanks Appear Closer to Signing Pettitte
by SG

The Yankees’ solution for their immediate future may come from their recent past. Andy Pettitte is committed to pitching again, and Roger Clemens could eventually join him for a reunion with the Yankees.


The Astros would like to bring back Pettitte for one year and $12 million. But the Yankees are prepared to offer him $15 million for one season and would consider making a two-year offer if Pettitte wants it. Pettitte may also prefer a one-year contract with a player option for a second year.

The agent Randy Hendricks did not elaborate on Pettitte’s thought process. But he did confirm Wednesday that Pettitte, 34, would not retire. “Andy has decided to play,” Hendricks said in an e-mail message.

I'm fully onboard with a possible Pettitte signing now. Pettitte's ZiPS projection for Houston:

Andy Pettitte 35 3.94 13 11 32 31 194.0 195 85 22 56 154

Add about a half run for the move from the NL to the AL based on research by Nate Silver, and you're looking at about 200 innings of a 4.44 ERA. The average AL starter in 2006 put up an ERA of 4.74, that would make Pettitte worth about six runs above the average starter. Add in the fact that he'd be a short-term contract of one or two years, and it seems like a perfect fit.

Update:Yankees pick Josh Phelps in the Rule 5 draft

Yankees selected first baseman Josh Phelps from the Orioles in Thursday's Rule 5 draft.

Phelps, 28, was signed to a minor league deal by the Orioles last month. The former Blue Jay hit .308/.370/.532 with 24 homers in 464 at-bats for Triple-A Toledo last season. He'd make sense for a team with a left-handed-hitting platoon guy at first base or DH, but the Yankees aren't there yet. Phelps' defense is pretty rough, so even though he could surprise with the bat, we're skeptical he'll get a chance to win the starting job at first base.

Phelps is a butcher defensively, but there's definitely some offensive upside in his bat. He'd probably be a good option to rest Giambi against tough lefties at the very least.