TIME-OUT WITH JOHN INMAN
By JOHN INMAN
Unless you’ve been in a cave somewhere hibernating now that December has rolled around, you may not have heard the latest MLB rumors, or specifically, the rumor that Andy Pettitte will return and wear the pinstripes yet again.
Well, in my quest to find all the Yankees rumors that I have starved what seems like months for, the Pettitte rumor is one I came across that peaked my interest just a little. Could this be true? Would Pettitte actually consider returning to the rotation after a year of retirement?
We know the Yankees were short in the starting pitching department last season, don’t we? With the likes of retreads Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia on the mound, the Bronx Bombers fell short of making the World Series, or even advancing past the ALDS. Not that Colon and Garcia were to be faulted for that, mind you. Without those guys, the Yanks would not have even won the American League East.
To that, GM Brian Cashman has vowed to make the starting rotation stronger this season. (He better!) There have been reports that the Yanks are going to make a deal for the Rangers’ C.J. Wilson, the Cubs’ Matt Garza, the Phillies’ Roy Oswalt, Chicago White Sox ace Mark Buehrle and numerous others, such as this Yu Darvish character from Japan, but still nothing has been done.
Surely, Cashman won’t stand pat this time. We should know more soon, because the annual MLB Winter Meetings are taking place in Dallas as we speak.
But Pettitte coming back? Truth of the matter is, while I would be casually ecstatic if that were the case, don’t look for it to happen anytime soon, even if Cashman were to give him a raise. Pettitte has enjoyed retirement for a year, he’s enjoyed being at home with his family and I truly believe Pettitte is a man of his word.
He’s not like Brett Farve or some of those guys that call it quits and keep coming back and coming back for another shot at glory.
Beside, the Yankees wouldn’t necessarily be better off. They would still have the same problems of a rotation filled with too many old guys. Colon, Garcia, Pettitte. They’ve resigned C.C. Sabathia for a longer term, six years, then he will be ready for retire to the pasture. Ivan Nova should be better than ever after a stout rookie campaign. Phil Hughes, I think, will be come back as strong as ever. A.J. Burnett? Well, I’ve never been a big fan of him, anyway, so if Cashman has an offer from some other team for his services I say take it. The guy has a no-trade clause in his sizable contract, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if someone (meaning, anyone) were to inquire. (hint, hint)
I like the rumor that Atlanta Braves’ starter Jair Jergens may be available in a deal for Eduardo Nunez, but that would leave the Yanks without a possible replacement for Derek Jeter at shortstop. Also, a rumor that the Toronto Blue Jays’ Kyle Drabek might be available for the asking is intriguing. Both Jergens and Drabek are good nice starters with an upside to them, especially Drabek, who’s only 24-years-old. I’m a firm believer in this youngster from the minors, Dellen Bestances, a 6-8, 260-pounder with fireballing stuff.
The rumors of Marino Rivera that have been swirling around for weeks are true. Seems he had a mysterious throat ailment that doctors weren’t able to nail down. “Mo” had surgery recently to remove some polyps from his vocal chords, and he should be recovered in time for spring training. He’ll be 42 this season, matching his uniform number, but hints of retirement after 2012.
Speaking of someone who’s not ready to retire because he doesn’t believe he finished playing, long-time Yankee Jorge Posoda has supposedly contacted the New York Mets, but the Mets didn’t return his calls. Jorge has shown interest, too, in possibly playing for the Florida Marlins. If he can’t stay a Yankee forever, give it up while you can still function physically, is my thought. There’s more to life than just playing baseball.
Last but not least, Bernie Williams, who patrolled the Yankees centerfield for years, will be on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. Here’s hoping he gets elected on the first try.
Until next week’s Time-out …