YES Network man Jack Curry tweets that the Yanks signed Pettitte to a one-year, $2.5-million minor league contract (which is really something that only the Yankees could do). Pettitte, who retired after the 2010 season, apparently had dreamed of a comeback in recent weeks.
But this comeback is kind of silly. Not for Pettitte—because we know that he can throw 180ish innings with a good strikeout rate and all those illegal pickoffs until his arm falls off, and we'd take $2.5 million a year if we could find it—but for the Yankees. We told you not so long ago that the Yankees will have an astonishing rotation in 2012. Fangraphs recently ranked the staff seventh-best in baseball, which, to our eyes, seems a little low, and, in any case, is more than sufficient to support the Bombers' thumping lineup. The Yankees already had six viable starters pre-Pettitte. Now they have seven. Which is two too many!
Two extra starters isn't a horrible problem to have, no, but the Pettitte signing seems like an unnecessary injection of drama and tension into Yankeeland. We know the rabid talk-radio types will start clamoring for Andy—a True Yankee—the moment Michael Pineda allows his first double. We know Andy won't hang peacefully in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.*
We know, rather, that he'll hang over the Bronx like a stale fart.
Joe Girardi will likely throw a few of his younger, superior starters in the bullpen to make way for Andy. Mike Francesa has already called it "welcome news." Nope. It's nostalgia for a dynasty that officially died in 2001—don't you remember the Buster Olney book?—and it might just wound the newish Yankees. Which is a shame, really, because we almost liked them.
Update (1:35 p.m.): A Yankees employee has emailed to note that Pettitte will not spend any time in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, because the AAA Yankees affiliate is barnstorming next year. Writes the AP: "They'll have 37 "home" games in Rochester, N.Y., with the rest scattered about in Batavia, Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y., along with Allentown, Pa., and Pawtucket, R.I." That's even more depressing than Scranton/Wikes-Barre.