Pettitte drawing plenty of attention

The Red Sox and Astros are looking to rock the Yankees boat by signing Andy Pettitte.

Updated: November 19, 2003, 8:45 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
It's nice to be loved. Who among us doesn't like the feeling that somebody loves us. Unless it's a stalker. That can be creepy. But, aside from attention from people who should be institutionalized for their obsessions, being loved is generally a good thing and very few folks on earth are seeing the kind of love going out to Andy Pettitte right now. Not only that, but the love he is getting is being expressed with offers of a gift even greater than love: money. The free agent lefthander is said to be the apple of many a general manager's eye.

First off, the team with whom he has spent his career would like him back. Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News writes that it is the Yankees' "top priority this offseason" to get him back in the fold. Meanwhile, however, other suitors are lining up on his porch with flowers and candy. (OK, that's enough of the courting imagery.) The natural match would be the Astros in that Pettitte played his schoolboy ball in the greater Houston area and makes his home there in the offseason. He had a preliminary meeting with Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker yesterday. The Los Angeles Times reports the Angels have had their eyes on him as well.

The Red Sox are in an excellent position to rock the Yankees boat a little -- or at least make them spend more money than they have to. Many have you have participated in fantasy baseball auctions where you know one of your buddies especially covets a certain player and you bid him up to a point where his final price doesn't make fiscal sense. Boston may well be in that position with the Yankees and Pettitte. As McCarron points out, the Jose Contreras affair is still fresh in the mind of Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and he could use an interest in Pettitte to force the Yankees to overpay to retain his services. Not that that is even a moral victory in the end in that there appears to be no end to the amount of money the Yankees have available to spend on payroll. Adding a couple of million bucks extra to Pettitte's bank account would have the same effect on the Yankees as running over a board with a nail in it would on a steam roller.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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