The Yankees managed to keep Hiroki Kuroda in the fold this week with a one-year, $15 million contract, but they are still waiting on word from Andy Pettitte. They should have their answer soon.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com was told by a friend of Pettitte that he expects the veteran southpaw to make a decision on his status for 2013 by the end of next week. Pettitte’s “friend” could just be speculating, so take it for what it’s worth, but the timing makes some sense. While most expect Pettitte will return for another season, the Yankees would probably appreciate hearing some definitive word before the Winter Meetings begin on December 3.
Pettitte, 40, earned $2.5 million this season while posting a 2.87 ERA and 69/21 K/BB ratio over 75 1/3 innings. Count on him getting a nice raise if he comes back for 2013.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.