Yanks Sign Pettitte; Youth Movement Dead At 1
Well, it was fun while it lasted, no?
A year ago, when the Yankees decided to pass on Johan Santana, they went to great lengths to trumpet their dedication to young players, particularly pitchers. They were ready to give rotation spots to Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes. They were done throwing money at veteran pitchers.
"We're going to build from within," Brian Cashman told me in this story. " We're going to lower our payroll, get flexible. We haven't been big-game hunters on the free agent market..... People heard what I said, but I don't think they really believed it."
And then Hughes and Kennedy combined for zero wins in 2008. And the Yankees missed the playoffs. And the Steinbrenners got antsy. And the next thing you know, they've signed three veteran pitchers this winter, including Andy Pettitte today.
Must be nice, at a time when other teams say they don't even have a few mil lying around to fill one of their needs, to be able to spend up to $12 million (Pettitte's haul if he hits all his incentives) on a fifth starter. Because that's what Pettitte is slated to be in the Bronx. He will follow CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain (not necessarily in that order) in the rotation.
That open competition for the fifth starter's job between youngsters Hughes, Kennedy, Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves? Much like the Yankees' youth movement itself, it's over. They all lost.
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