Yanks land Pettitte with incentive-laden $5.5M deal

BY Ken Rosenthal • January 27, 2009

Andy Pettitte and the Yankees agreed Monday to a one-year, $5.5 million contract that brings the left-hander back to New York.

Deal points

Andy Pettitte can more than double his guaranteed salary if he meets certain requirements laid out in his contract. Pettitte's incentives break down like this:

Pettitte will receive $100,000 for being on the active major-league roster for 120 days, $200,000 for 130 days, $250,000 for 140 days, $250,000 for 150 days and $400,000 for 160 days, $400,000 for 170 days and $400,000 for 180 days.

Thus, if Pettitte is active the entire season, he will earn an additional $2 million.

Pettitte also will receive $500,000 for 150 innings pitched, $500,000 for 160 innings pitched, $500,000 for 170 innings pitched, $750,000 for 180 innings pitched, $750,000 for 190 innings, $750,000 for 200 innings and $750,000 for 210 innings.

That total adds up to $4.5 million.

Pettitte has pitched 200 or more innings in each of the past four seasons.

-- Ken Rosenthal

Pettitte can make an additional $6.5 million on performance bonuses and bonuses based on time on the active roster.

Pettitte, 36, initially did not want a paycut from his 2008 salary of $16 million. Earlier this offseason, the Yankees offered him a guarantee of $10 million.

The changing market, combined with the Yankees' signings of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira for a combined $423.5 million, forced Pettitte to accept a further reduction if he wanted to continue his career.

"If in fact Andy does in 2009 what he's done before, he'll actually make more money," said Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, according to The Associated Press.

Pettitte was 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA for the Yankees last season, making 33 starts and pitching 204 innings.

In the Yankees' revamped rotation, Pettitte will be the fifth starter behind left-hander CC Sabathia and righties A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain.

The return of Pettitte will enable righty Phil Hughes, 22, to start the season at Class AAA or pitch out of the bullpen.

It also ends any chance of the Yankees signing free-agent righty Ben Sheets, who is drawing interest from the Rangers and Mets, among other teams.

A source told FOXSports.com in late December that the return of Petttite to the Yankees was "virtually inevitable," but the talks continued to drag over a difference of opinion on the pitcher's value.

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