Peter Abraham recently put up a post about Pettitte and why a deal has not been made. The basic premise is that Pettitte believes he's worth more than $10 million, and despite saying that money is not an issue and that he wants to stay a Yankee, money is a major issue and the only reason he is currently not a Yankee. I've been saying for a while that $10 million was what Mussina made last season, and that it should be adequate for someone who pitched as poorly and inconsistantly as Pettitte did. He finished the season with a 14-14 record and a 4.54 ERA. I was off slightly as Mussina made $11 million last season, with another $1 million as a signing bonus. If you work it out, his total contract was worth $11.5 million per year over the two year length of his contract. Some people may point out that Mussina made $11.5 million, but he had a terrible 2007 season, going 11-10 with a 5.15 ERA. However, the $11.5 million contract did not come after the 2007 season, it came after the 2006 season when he had a 15-7 record with a 3.51 ERA and 172 strikeouts. After that season he signed the 2 year $23 million contract. Later that off-season, the Yankees made a more than generous offer to Andy Pettitte. The deal was a 1 year $16 million contract with a player option for another $16 million. For those unfamiliar with contract language a player option basically means that the player can choose to play the extra year for a predetermined salary. So basically, he had a guaranteed 2 year contract worth $32 million, way above the market value. Now compare that to the 2 year $23 million Mussina agreed to. Pettitte had just finished a 14-13 season with a 4.20 ERA and 178 strikeouts pitching in the National League. Compare that to Mussina who had better numbers and pitched in the AL East. Mussina probably could have gotten more from the Yankees, but he wanted to be a Yankee and did not see money as a huge issue. Mussina re-signed with the Yankees in October because he knew he wanted to be a Yankee, and never shopped his services around to other teams. Keep in mind also that Mussina had made $17 million the season before, and was taking a $5.5 million pay cut, very close to the $6 million pay cut in the Pettitte deal, with the one major difference being that Mussina took the paycut after pitching WELL.
Now, I understand that its every players right to demand more money. Its free market capitolism at its best. However, Pettitte clearly does not want to be a Yankee or pitch in the new stadium as he had earlier stated. If that were really the case, he would have signed already. What he does want is money. This may seem harsh to say, but let's be honest. The Yankees aren't trying to cheat him. They've offered a fair contract in this market. I could see if Pettitte was just holding out, but he outright rejected the Yankees offer. Where he once said that money was not an issue and he wanted to be a Yankee, his actions are saying the opposite.
What is the fair market value? Well after Sabathia and Burnett, any good pitcher has been offered $13 million per season. Lowe and Dempster were offered this much. Those two pitchers had good seasons last year (Lowe went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA and Dempster went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA) and both helped get their teams to the playoffs. Pitchers who pitched poorly last season either have no offers on the table, or signed really cheaply like Daniel Cabrera and his $2.9 million deal. Pettitte is somewhere in between. He's a good pitcher who had a bad season due to shoulder problems and general inconsistancy. What's the market on a player like that? $10 million sounds about right...to everyone except Pettitte.