I highly doubt anyone is surprised, but Andy Pettitte will extend his career yet another season thanks to a one-year, $12 million pact with–of course–the New York Yankees. Pettitte is now 40 years old, but that hasn’t really stopped him from being a valuable contributor when his body doesn’t betray him by acting like the body of a 40-year-old should. The cleft-chinned wonder pitched just 75 1/3 innings in 2012, but he was good enough to log a 2.87 ERA, 3.48 FIP, and 3.27 xFIP. In his 12 starts he struck out 8.24/9 and walked only 2.51/9.
The deal is almost identical to the seemingly endless string of one-year contracts Pettitte has signed with the Yankees (except for last year’s partial season deal), and it works fine for both parties. Sure, the Yankee roster is old and brittle already, but it’s very doubtful Brian Cashman was going to find a better value he didn’t have to risk half a decade on signing. Pettitte is certainly worthy of sticking in the rotation behind CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, and he’s a necessary piece for a team that can’t afford to lose any ground with the Rays being good, the Orioles being surprising (or whatever), and the Blue Jays getting much better with a massive trade.
It looks like this move means the Yankees are committed to staying put with their general roster composition for the time being. The team doesn’t have much of a choice, but with Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano soon either headed for huge extensions or free agency, things may start to look different around New York very soon. Old or not, the team is likely to be right in the thick of things in 2013, and Andy Pettitte is a logical re-addition even if he is not ideal for moving forward in the grand scheme of things. If he can manage something close to a full season, he’s going to be an above average option for a team who needs exactly that and has the money to make it happen.