Yankees president Randy Levine had this to say about Andy Pettitte yesterday:
“Every day I hope Andy comes back. Andy’s a great Yankee and a great person and I know he’ll give it thought and follow his heart and we’ll respect his decision. But we’re out there, all of us, hoping every day that he comes back. “I think he knows we need him. I think he knows how much we respect him and what a great leader he is.”
I know it’s easy to read too much into a few words tossed off to reporters, but that’s a bit different than the “Andy will do what he does and we’ll do what we do” sort of thing we’ve been hearing from Brian Cashman. I don’t think Pettitte would be a panacea at this point — the odds of him giving the team 30+ starts aren’t high even if he does come back — but I think Levine’s statement does suggest that the Yankees are well-aware that there aren’t any better options out there.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.