Andy Pettitte announced his retirement on February 2, but today Jorge Posada told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if his longtime batterymate reconsidered and returned to the Yankees at some point in 2011.
Or course, Wallace also writes that Posada “admitted he had no real reason for believing Pettitte might change his mind” and is basing it mostly off his knowledge of Pettitte’s “competitive nature.”
Here’s more from Posada:
I just know how much Andy loves to compete. Andy’s a competitor, and that’s the thing you miss. Hopefully, we’ll see him again. It would be nice to see him come back.
However, before Yankees fans get too excited, Posada also told Matthews that Pettitte seemed “at peace with his decision” based on text messages they exchanged, saying: “It seemed like he had made his decision and he was OK with it.”
It’s tough to tell how much of Posada’s comments are wishful thinking, but either way I’m sure there will be Pettitte-related storylines throughout the first half, particularly if the back of the Yankees’ rotation struggles.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.