It’s hard to believe that he actually might retire so I wanted to look up the days he’s re-signed in the past and see if there is any pattern. That way we can have an idea of when to expect a decision.
I was looking through my Google Reader and it turns out that Sam Borden of the Journal News had already gone and looked this up for me:
After the 2006 season: Pettitte signs a one-year, $16 million deal with a player option for a second year on Dec. 9, spurning the Astros who had hoped to bring him back.
After the 2007 season: After declining his option on Nov. 5, Pettitte accepts arbitration from the Yankees on Dec. 7 and officially signs on Dec. 12.
After the 2008 season: Some backs-and-forths over money push the ultimate decision later this time around, with Pettitte not signing his incentive-laden deal until Jan. 26.
After the 2009 season: Back to the usual, Pettitte followed up his fantastic postseason by filing for free agency and then signing a one-year deal with the Yankees on Dec. 9.
So there is a very good pattern here. Twice he’s re-signed exactly on December 9 and once December 12. So if he is going to come back there is a good chance he gets it done by the second week of December.
Only one time in the past four years did it take longer than that and that was only because he and the Yankees were locked in a dispute over his salary that went from $16 million in 2008 to just over $10 million in 2009.
It is doubtful that there will be a long contract issue this season so hopefully he can stick near his patter of making up his mind in early December. Even if he does choose to retire, it is important that he makes a decision by that time to give the Yankees time to search for a replacement.
Hopefully for the Yankees sake, they don’t have to.