Pettitte has incentives to keep pitching
As Andy Pettitte stands in the batters box at an empty Safeco Field, hitting ground balls to his son at third base, Ben P. writes in: “How is Pettitte doing with his incentives? I know his ERA has been up there, but he looks stronger of late and 200 innings seems likely. However, 9 and 6 record could be much better.”
Let’s take a glance, with some help from the excellent Cot’s Baseball Contracts Web site (if you don’t already have this handy reference bookmarked, it’s a must for any serious baseball fan):
# 1 year/$5.5M (2009)
* $4.5M in performance bonuses: $0.5M each for 150, 160, 170 IP; $0.75M each for 180, 190, 200, 210 IP
* $2M in roster bonuses: $0.1M for 120 days on active 25-man roster; $0.2M for 130 days; $0.25M each for 140, 150 days; $0.4M each for 160, 170, 180 days
So, let’s do the innings first. Pettitte’s at 147 1/3 innings, which means he’ll hit a benchmark for an extra $500,000 assuming he’s able to get seven more outs for the rest of the season, and then another $500,000 for every 30 outs he records after that.
Being healthy for the whole season is going to pay off for Pettitte too. He already clicked in the $100,000 bonus for being on the Yankees’ active 25-man roster for the first four months of the season, and keeps ringing up these $250,000 milestones as we move forward.
Based on last night’s start, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t make a serious push at maxing out the deal, and at least coming within striking distance of it. He sure looks healthy enough to approach the 204 innings he pitched last season.
Pettitte wasn’t thrilled with the idea of taking a pay cut off the $16 million he earned in each of the last two seasons, but he might have gambled correctly in turning down the Yankees’ initial $10.5 million offer and proving he could get closer to the maximum of $12 million under the current deal.