The shocking news of Andy Pettitte ending his retirement and signing a one-year, $2.5 million, minor-league deal with the New York Yankees Friday is something that fans and media members will be talking about for the next few days. Of course, one of the biggest questions, especially since Pettitte decided to not return last year, is how did this decision come to fruition? .
Luckily, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman join the YES Network crew during the broadcast of New York's Spring Training game against the Washington Nationals and explained the process:
"I got a call from Andy in late December," said Cashman, "and actually said based on a radio interview he heard with our buddy Michael Kay that I did. Michael asked me about our pitching issues and would I ever check with Andy and I said I wasn't going to bother Andy in his retirement. I said, if he wants to play he knows how to call us."
Cashman admitted in the interview that he believed Pettitte had retired early and if the lefty ever wanted to rejoin the Yankees pitching rotation the door was open.
"Andy said that got his juices flowing to hear me say that," said Cashman. "I was caught off guard, so I said, 'are you willing to commit to playing?' and he said, 'no, I'd like to work out for six weeks or so and get a sense of how my body is and if I can match my mind up. I am thinking about it.'"
Cashman mentions that at the time he actually offered Pettitte a significant contract, one very similar to the $12 million he turned down last offseason before he decided to retire.
Six weeks later, Cashman continued, the Yankees had made a move for Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda and told Pettitte they were done looking for pitching help, so Pettitte shut his training program down.
"Then he shows up in Spring Training as a guest instructor," said Cashman, "(he) got all wrapped up in the excitement, what we got going on, the specialty players we got, the teammates, comradery, and said, 'Hey, I got to meet with you.'"
Cashman then explained that he and Pettitte met in the office of manager Joe Giaradi and it was there the left-hander began to make his case for a return, saying he stopped working out briefly and missed it, so he started up again. Pettitte then said now that he was here at Spring Training he wanted to play.
"I was like man, I don't know what to do about this," said Cashman, who made it clear to Pettitte that he couldn't make the eight-figure offer he could before and the Yankees were set when it came to making pitching moves.
"We talked a lot since then, with Andy, with ownership," continued Cashman, "to the Steinbrenner credit, Hal Steinbrenner stretched a bit for who (Andy) is and did a minor-league contract."
At the end of the interview, Cashman mentioned the Yankees should expect Pettitte to be in Tampa, FL sometime next week and the team will slowly progress him to be a member of the rotation.