When 38-year-old left-hander Andy Pettitte announced his retirement from the game of baseball on Friday at a press conference inside the halls of Yankee Stadium, he answered a question about possibly pitching again with a “never say never” type of response. In fact, those were nearly his exact words. Now Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe can add a little fuel to that fire.
Cafardo spoke to a scout this weekend who believes that Pettitte might return at some point. Maybe not this season, but possibly in 2012.
“I get the feeling his career isn’t over,” said the scout. “For one, he can still pitch at a high level. Secondly, he didn’t retire with any conviction. The stuff about going back and forth on whether or not to pitch leads me to believe he’ll decide to pitch again.”
The Yanks were thought to be offering Pettitte a one-year, $12 million contract, and they probably would have sweetened that sum if he had asked. There’s little doubt that they will have interest if he decides to make a comeback next winter.
Pettitte has never relied on high velocities. He averaged under 90 MPH on his fastball last season and has been in the 89 MPH range for much of his career. He’s simply a crafty lefty, and he could probably remain crafty well into his early 40s.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.