Andy Pettitte a Little Poorer, But Still a Yankee

By
John Boehner, Republican. Photo: Getty Images

Andy Pettitte had some justifiable reasons to reject the Yankees' offer of a one-year, $10 million contract earlier this January. After all, the Yankees were throwing money at new free agents like they were propping up failing banks: a few hundred million here, a few hundred million there. Meanwhile, Pettitte — one of those few remaining vestiges of the nineties championship years — was being offered a $6 million pay cut. So he turned it down. But now, with spring training approaching, Pettitte has agreed to a new contract with the Yankees — at $5.5 million. Which, initially, looks like pretty poor negotiating ($5.5 million is less than $10 million, money is good, etc.).

However, the 36-year-old Pettitte has the chance to accrue up to $12 million in health-related incentives. If he pitches enough innings and stays off the disabled list, he'll come out on top. But even if it turns out that he gets hurt, it'll still be worth it to Pettitte. "I could have made an awful lot more money than what I signed for," he said. But when it came down to it, "I wanted to play for the New York Yankees and, you know, that was the bottom line. I wanted to be there. I wanted to play in that new stadium." And devotion like that you just can't put a price on is worth exactly $5.5 million, plus health-related incentives.

Pettitte, Yankees agree to $5.5M plus incentives for 2009 season [SI]