|Tuesday, November 5
Updated: November 6, 7:49 PM ET
Club would like Pettitte back, but for less money
ESPN.com news services
The Yankees have a slew of personnel decisions to make this offseason, including whether to pick up left-hander Andy Pettitte's option for next season.
But New York has begun talking to other teams about the possibility of trading Pettitte, the Newark Star-Ledger reported Tuesday, in case it can't negotiate a three-year deal whose average annual value is less than his $11.5 million option.
The Yankees have until Nov. 15 to decide whether to pick up the option, but according to the Star-Ledger, their preference is to negotiate a new deal with Pettitte. If they can't do that, the Yankees probably would try to trade him. For that reason, they have begun trying to gauge other teams' interest.
According to the Star-Ledger, the Philadelphia Phillies, who were on the verge of acquiring Pettitte before the Yankees backed out of a trade-deadline deal in 1999, are a strong possibility if the Yankees decide to deal him.
An unnamed Phillies official confirmed to the newspaper on Monday that the Phillies have an interest in the left-hander, but the Phillies also are looking at free agent Tom Glavine and fellow veteran left-handers Chuck Finley and Jamie Moyer.
"We definitely have interest in Pettitte," the official told the Star-Ledger. "We're trying to improve our rotation with a veteran."
The Yankees' desire to discuss trading Pettitte, a consistent winner in their rotation since 1995, is fueled by several factors.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Monday he has not begun negotiating with any of the team's potential free agents and probably wouldn't until after baseball's free-agency period opens and he can assess his outside options. By that time, though, all 29 other teams will be free to negotiate with any player they choose to -- including Clemens.
"We're just going to be very cautious," Cashman told the Star-Ledger. "I've definitely reached out to clubs to see what they're looking to do, and to let them know what we're looking to do. We're assessing the market, and we'll see."