Thursday, December 4, 2008


BASEBALL’S HOT STOVE is still on simmer, the majority of free agents waiting for CC Sabathia to set the benchmark for salaries.

Sabathia is clearly in no hurry to accept the New York Yankees’ offer of $140 million over the next six years.

And until he does, his fellow pitchers, notably AJ Burnett, Jake Peavy and Derek Lowe – or, more accurately, their agents – don’t know just how high to set the bar for their wage demands.

Sabathia, it would seem, has no great desire to play in pinstripes. The word on the street is that he and his wife, Amber, would rather live on the West Coast – even if that means him playing for the struggling San Francisco Giants, some 30 miles from his home town of Vallejo, California.

In stark contrast, Andy Pettitte has made it plain that New York is the only place he wants to play. Perhaps he should have added the rider…at the right price.

Reports suggest the Yanks have offered the 36-year-old left-hander a one-year deal worth $10 million – $6 million less than he earned this year, when he went 14-14 with an ERA of 4.54.

Pitcher should accept Yanks $10m offer

With Joe Torre and the Los Angeles Dodgers waiting in the wings, Pettitte’s agent, Randy Kendricks, clearly believes his client can get more. Which begs the question: is there even one degree of loyalty left in modern-day sports?

Just remember that Pettitte has already left the Yankees once for a better offer. In 2003, he joined the Houston Astros on a $31.5 million, three-year contract.

And let’s not forget either than the Yankees stood by him – and their contractual agreement – almost exactly a year ago after the Mitchell report revealed that he had taken human growth hormone.

Pettitte neglected to inform the Yanks that he had spoken to investigators before signing his new, $16 million contract.

Later, at an emotional news conference, he apologized to the organization and the fans for his mistake. And, before, during and after last season, he has maintained that he wants to finish his career in the Bronx.

If that truly is the case, then Pettitte should accept the Yanks’ offer.

After all, if anyone deserves a “cut price” deal then it’s the Yankees. They’re the club that have set him up for life. Any other move would be nothing short of treason.

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