Apparently, Pettitte wasn’t particularly pleased with the contract he inked over the offseason, a realization that isn’t surprising when you consider the way in which the negotiations played out and how long it took for him to sign. “I think everybody knows I wasn’t real happy with the contract,” said Pettitte to the press, after capturing his 16th postseason win. Pettitte had agreed to a $5.5 million deal (base salary) in January after making $16 million in 2008. “But,” he added, “I wanted to take it and come back here and have a chance to do this [win a World Series].”
To be fair, though, the Yankees provided Pettitte with an additional $6.5 million on top of his $5.5 million base, bringing his annual salary to a total of $12 million. Chump change this was not. The extra $6.5 million was predicated upon a package of incentive bonuses—both performance ($4.5 million) and roster ($2 million)—so, I guess what Pettitte is really upset about is having to prove himself with each pitch and with each inning, rather than receiving guaranteed money. There was little bargaining power afforded to him after the ’08 season, however, as he routinely stated that he would either return to the Yankees or retire from the game altogether. That idea, while oozing of popular loyalty rhetoric, was not at all beneficial from a negotiating standpoint and the Yankees rightfully took advantage of that.
Of course, this year, Pettitte certainly wasn’t cheated or swindled in any way. According to FanGraphs, at 3.3 WAR, Pettitte has been worth $15 million this year. Therefore, his $12 million salary has been extremely fair, especially in a depressed market. He is due for a raise, though. I expect him to make at least $10 million in 2010—plus incentives—which Cashman will be happy to provide after a very strong season from the veteran left-hander.
Speaking of Pettitte’s strong season, although Dave Allen pokes a few holes into it over at FanGraphs—low BABIP, high BB/9, etc—he still believes that Pettitte will be worth about $10 million in value in 2010, even if he experiences some form of performative regression.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
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