Friday, December 08, 2006

How One Deal Affects Another

A piece of fascinating behind-the-scenes analysis from Jayson Stark at, "Astros decided to let Pettitte walk over $2 million":

Before [Andy] Pettitte accepted the Yankees' offer, sources familiar with the negotiations told me he gave the Astros a chance to keep him for $2 million a year less than the Yankees will pay him. But Houston wouldn't increase its offer of $12 million a year.

Why? Good question. The buzz around baseball is that MLB officials -- particularly commissioner Bud Selig -- weren't happy with the Astros for giving $100 million over six years to free agent Carlos Lee. So owner Drayton McLane might be trying to placate MLB's hard-liners by attempting to hold down the rest of his payroll.

Which begs the question: What does Drayton McLane have to fear that George Steinbrenner and John Henry et al., don't?