We have recently learned that Andy Pettitte will not pitch in 2011. Although this news is not surprising to many, it is worth recognizing. Here’s what Brian Cashman had to say.
via The Daily News:
“I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011. If that ever changes he’ll call us. We’re not going to hound him or bother him.”
Clarification via Tyler Kepner:
Cashman said he just used a poor choice of words when he told DN that Pettitte has “chosen not to start.” He meant “chosen not to pitch”.
While it’s nice to envision a scenario in which Pettitte changes his mind and returns the Yankees in 2011, I think it is safe to say that will not happen. We will just have to face the fact that Andy Pettitte will not be pitching for the Yankees this season and they will have to turn to other options. Allow me to quote Brian Cashman again via The Daily News, this time regarding to the pitching market.
“I’m actively out there. It’s a very thin market to be flying in right now. That’s why we may have to rely on our strong farm system a little bit sooner than we expected.”
With no free agent or trade options out there, it looks like the Yankees will start the season with in-house options filling the number four and five spots in the rotation. However, this is no reason to panic. Compare this year’s rotation to last year’s rotation. CC Sabathia is CC Sabathia. How much worse can A.J. Burnett be? A better year from him isn’t that unlikely. Phil Hughes could post similar numbers to those of last year. Ivan Nova (most likely) will theoritically take over Pettitte’s spot in the rotation, and the difference between the two may not be as great as it seems. And finally, an unknown fifth starter will take over the spot which Javier Vazquez has vacated, and we all know what most Yankee fans think of Vazquez.
Right now, 2011 looks to be a promising year for the Yankees. And even if they do not make a significant move during the rest of the off season, you can rest assured that there will be transactions made during the season.