Freddy Garcia doesn’t sound thrilled about Andy Pettitte being back

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Andy Pettitte’s return has everyone excited.  Well, almost everyone.

When reached for comment, Phil Hughes, who may be ticketed to the pen or to the minors as a result of the Pettitte signing, offered the classically passive-aggressive “is what it is.” Though to be fair it was surrounded by some more diplomatic noises.

But there was one guy who was a bit more obviously peeved: Freddy Garcia.

As we mentioned on Friday, Garcia is likely the odd man out in the Yankees pitching plan. And Garcia seems particularly underwhelmed, bordering on grumpy, about the idea of Pettitte being back in pinstripes. From Marc Carig’s report in the Star-Ledger:

“I don’t really care,” Garcia said, when asked about Pettitte’s return. “That’s their decision. I’m here to pitch and that’s what I want to do.”

When asked if Pettitte’s addition was good for the team, Garcia threw his hands up, seemingly exasperated by the turn of events.

“I don’t know man,” said Garcia, who like Hughes a day before, gave a lukewarm reaction. “Ask the people. I don’t know. I guess …You play with the Yankees, nothing surprises you.”

Garcia’s exasperation is perhaps understandable. But given how much love there is for Andy Pettitte in both the fan base and in some quarters of the New York sporting press, he’s not going to win any popularity contests if he’s noticeably angry about this.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.