I have a mixed feeling when I hear Pettitte reject Yankees' offer. I am certainly surprised Yankees and Pettitte get to this point.
My first reaction is Pettitte playing a Roger Clemens game which plays for a contender team for half of season at much higher salary. Since they have the same agent, it's very reasonable to wonder about this option. Many contenders usually need to add starters before trading deadline and are willing to pay more to get that in terms of cash and talents. Pettitte also can play a role of savior as well. If history tells us anything, Yankees probably need another starter around trading deadline. Of course, I hope they don't face that problem again. I remember Curt Schilling also considers this option as well. I understand it probably is a good idea for older pitchers to pitch only half of season, but I really don't like this idea. In my opinion, the games in April is as important as the games in September.
My second reaction is Pettitte and his agents probably want to know what kind of deals they can get by rejecting Yankees' offer because many teams probably assume Pettitte will sign with Yankees any way. When Mo and Posada are free agents last off-season, it seems they face the same problem as well. If they can get better deals, they probably can use as a leverage to make Yankees increase their offer. If they don't get better deals, I think they still can go back to Yankees and ask for that 10 million offer. Based on the amount of respect Pettitte get within organization and you never have enough pitching, I still think Yankees will be willing to take Pettitte back. Of course, this assumes Yankees haven't gotten another veteran starter at one year deal as no.4 starter.
I usually have difficult time to analyze things rationally when things involve with my beloved Yankees. Pettitte is on my list. I understand Yankees have other options on the market. I understand Pettitte doesn't have a good 2008 season. I understand Pettitte is not young anymore. I also understand it seems he loses some of his stuffs because of age. Not to mention the concern of injury.
But, I believe Pettitte will have a bound back 2009 season. I still love to have Pettitte back and watch him pitching more. When you look around how much money below league average pitchers get, Pettitte certainly is worthy for 12 million per. I wonder why Yankees draw such a hard line on Pettitte.
Pettitte may have a hard feeling about getting a pay cut which we don't like as well when Yankees spend so much money so far this off-season. Pettitte may feel he doesn't ask for multi-year contracts when he has that leverage or always takes the ball no matter whether he is healthy or not.
That being said, I will feel disappointed at Pettitte if Pettitte decides to sign with other team after Yankees up their offer to 12 million per. In the end, Salary should reflect performance no matter what kind of job you have. Not to mention Pettitte always say he doesn't care about money and only want to pitch for Yankees.
Updated: From Peter's blog, Hal:"We’re still looking at it,” Steinbrenner said. “They were not happy with our offer and we were not happy with what they wanted. Anything is possible."