Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York says that the Yankees expect to get Andy Pettitte’s decision this week.
Most reports before now have had Pettitte leaning toward retirement. It’s hard to know how much of that is true and how much of that is an attempt at extracting more money out of the Yankees. I don’t know that anyone’s sourcing on Pettitte’s mindset is all that good. Most people seem to agree that any report that comes from “a friend of Andy Pettitte’s” is repeating what Lance Berkman said. Given that Berkman thinks he’s a right fielder now, I guess you gotta consider the source. I know someone who knows Pettitte — not Berkman — and got some intelligence from them a few weeks ago, but it came with a “you never know what Andy’s thinking” caveat which rendered that info pretty weak sauce. We’re all flying blind here.
I’m guessing that if Pettitte retires there will be a general freakout among Yankees fans. I’m guessing that if he comes back there will be a sorta ugly public contract negotiation a la Derek Jeter’s. Either way, the Pettitte story won’t end with his decision.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.