Opportunity Cost

The word is that Andy Pettitte will return next year for $12 million. The rumor is Mariano will shortly do a similar deal.

As a Yankee fan, there is probably nothing more that I want to see than Mariano take the mound again in 2013. Watching Pettitte pitch is somewhere behind that, but not too far behind. The problem is, I am not sure these are very good baseball moves.

Now in the old days, George would have signed these two guys and wouldn’t have attached those costs to the budget. The problem is, these aren’t the old days. For the last few years we have repeatedly heard Hal and Cashman talk about a budget and how they had to stretch to get to that budget. Well, if there is a similar budget for 2013, the Yankees just made a big mistake.

The fact is Andy Pettitte is 40-years old and hasn’t thrown more than 129 innings in the bigs since 2009. He was brilliant in 2012, but his brilliance was only over 75 innings. Yes, it was a freak liner that put him on the DL, but in 2010 it was his groin. These are risks you could take when he made $2.5 million, but at $12 million this is a very expensive gamble.

And that brings me to Mariano. He is the last guy I would bet against, but the fact remains that he is 43 and coming back from a major injury. Giving him $12 million is another very expensive gamble.

Now none of this matters if there isn’t really a budget for next year. But, if we hear Brian Cashman say that he had to expand the budget or couldn’t make a move because of the budget, I hope some reporter asks him why he spent almost $25-million on two pitchers with big question marks hanging over them.