Is there any room for Andy Pettitte to re-up with the Yankees? Apparently. But a person with knowledge of the situation said that it's up to Pettitte to initiate the discussion. If so, there might be a willingness on the Yankees part to take the offer from $10.5 million to $12 million.
It's a little curious why incentives haven't been floated as a way to get closer to a midway point between the Yanks' offer and Pettitte's $16 million salary last season, but that might only happen during a negotiation -- and, by all indications, there hasn't been much of a dialogue since Mr. Cashman went to Houston last month.
Either way, there's plenty of incentive for the Yanks to prefer Pettitte over the pool of pitchers led by Phil Hughes, if only to provide a deeper pool to guard against injury. And if the Yankees take Xavier Nady's projected $5 million salary off the books via trade, there's room to add payroll.
Last night, we attended the annual New York Professional Baseball Hot Stove League Dinner (which always seems to fall on the coldest night of the year), where Yankees scout Cesar Presbott received the Turk Karam Memorial Award as Scout of the Year. Lee Mazzilli was on hand as a guest speaker, and mentioned how his own son is now being pursued by baseball scouts.
The Daily News' John Harper won the Dick Young Award, and Mets' head grounds keeper Pete Flynn also won an award, and gave the shortest acceptance speech in the dinner's 44-year history: "Thank you.'' Committee chairman John Tumminia (White Sox), president Joe Rigoli (Cardinals) and secretary/organizer Billy Blitzer (Cubs) were among the scouting luminaries, which included 91-year-old Herb Stein (Twins), who once signed a kid named Rod Carew.
John's daughter, Tyler, who works for the Goldklang Group, gave a great presentation about her past summer of organizing a scouting wall of fame inside six minor-league parks, which served to underscore baseball's current, longest-running injustice: The scouts deserve their own wing in baseball's Hall of Fame. Writers and broadcasters have their own wing, but scouts do not? It is beyond comprehension.
Ed Randall was your amiable host once again, and he mentioned that there's a Feb. 3 function in the works, where Cashman and the Mets' Omar Minaya would answer questions. Mr. Randall does much to promote prostate cancer awareness (as a prostate cancer survivor, having had no prior family history), and he strongly recommends that all men over 40 should be screened annually for prostate cancer, the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S.