Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pettitte: We Don't Need No Santana

Andy Pettitte finalized his one year deal worth $16 million today. However, the most interesting part of his return was in regards to Johan Santana.

According to Pete Abe, Pettitte does not believe the Yankees need Santana in 2008.

Andy Pettitte was asked whether the Yankees needed to get Johan Santana. He gave an interesting answer:

“I guess there has been a lot of speculation that we need a true power arm, ace or whatever. I disagree with that,” he said. “I think Wang is an absolute stud. I think he is an ace. I understand he struggled in the postseason but that’s going to happen. I’ve struggled in the postseason before then come back and pitched extremely well. … To say we need (Santana) to be successful, that’s hard for me to say.”

Pettitte later said that pitching in 2009 at the new Stadium is something in the back of his mind.

During the 1990s dynasty years, the Yankees may have never had a true ace to head the pitching staff. However, the sum of the parts added up to top flight rotations built around names like Cone, Wells, Duque, Clemens and of course Pettitte. All of which were proven veteran all star pitchers and/or capable of shutting down an offense in a big game.

As currently congregated, the 2008 pitching staff holds three starters at or below 23 years of age. Though Hughes demonstrated a hint of big-game ability while relieving Roger Clemens during this year's ALDS, the 21 year old still has much to prove. Joba Chamberlain pitched in several key spots while setting up for Mariano Rivera, but the 22 year old has yet to start a game in the bigs. Finally, Ian Kennedy tossed a grand total 19 major league innings last year.

There's a lot of uncertainty regarding these three youngsters, and I, like many Yankees fans, would be excited to watch it all unfold. Hank Steinbrenner may have other ideas, however, ideas which would culminate in a two time Cy Young winner donning pinstripes. All told, it's a tough decision which may not have a right or wrong answer.

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