The New York Yankees have officially re-signed veteran lefty Andy Pettitte to a $12 million deal, according to Buster Olney. The Yankees and Pettitte were reportedly close to finalizing a deal all week, and the one-year contract became official Wednesday afternoon.
Next year will be Pettitte's 18th season in the majors, with 14 of his prior 17 years spent with the Yankees. Pettitte was a late addition to the Yankees roster last spring but he became one of the most reliable cogs in the starting rotation before getting injured. In 12 starts, he posted a 2.87 ERA. He was injured in late June after taking a ball off his foot, and returned in September in time for the Yankees postseason run. He finished with a 3.29 ERA in two playoffs starts.
Locking up Pettitte for another year was one of the Yankees prime offseason objectives, as Ed Valentine of SB Nation New York noted. Brian Cashman has also signed starter Hiroki Kuroda, and is also close to finalizing a Mariano Rivera deal. Valentine outlines some of the potential remaining offseason moves, including a bid on a "big fish" free agent:
You may or may not consider him a big fish, but the Yankees have been reported to be among the teams interested in outfielder Shane Victorino, a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.
There are several roadblocks to this, however.
First, if the Yankees are bringing back Ichiro there is no spot for Victorino unless the team is planning to dangle Curtis Granderson as trade bait -- and there has been no indication they are willing to do that.
Second, the same concern as with Martin. The Yankees are apparently serious about getting under that luxury tax threshold and with so many teams interested it seems highly unlikely the Yankees would entertain getting into a bidding war.
For Valentine, there are still plenty of questions about the 2013 roster, but signing Pettitte certainly provides a big answer concerning the rotation.