- Last Updated: 11:01 AM, January 25, 2013
- Posted: 12:45 AM, January 25, 2013
Joe Torre still doesn’t know if he is going to have his former ace on the mound for the World Baseball Classic, but he is aware the Yankees aren’t thrilled about the idea of Andy Pettitte pitching in the tournament.
“We’ve had some teams express concern and the Yankees have done that,” said Torre, who will manage the U.S. team. “The last thing I want is for the player to be uncomfortable, so we’re thinking and talking about it.”
The Yankees’ trepidation is understandable considering Pettitte’s age (40) and importance to their rotation.
“We don’t have to make a decision until Feb. 20, so we have some wiggle room,” Torre said Thursday night at a fund-raiser for his Safe at Home Foundation at Chelsea Piers. “We’ll see what happens.”
The former Yankees manager made it clear his old team can’t prevent Pettitte from participating, though he is sensitive to the club’s issues.
“It’s a little different pitching to get in shape opposed to pitching to try to win a game,” Torre said. “It’s just with the injuries he has had, you don’t want to put a player in a stressful situation.”
By the time Pettitte would pitch in the WBC, he likely already would have pitched twice in spring training games and would be up to about a 60-65 pitch count.
“I wouldn’t use him any differently,” Torre said. “Just keep an eye on him.”
As for the rest of the Yankees, general manager Brian Cashman said everything was “status quo” Thursday night. The team was never close to signing Scott Hairston, who reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Cubs and Cashman wasn’t in on the Justin Upton trade talk, other than a brief conversation with Arizona when he first hit the market.
“I think it’s in our best interest to look in the short-term, but that doesn’t preclude us from looking in the long-term,” Cashman said. “Obviously, there are restrictions we’re trying to navigate through, but that does not preclude us from doing a multi-year deal — but we’re going to be very careful.’’
The Yankees agreed to sign another veteran to a minor-league deal, this time bringing in Dan Johnson.
The 33-year-old is a corner infielder who has primarily played first base and had his most productive years with the A’s from 2005-07. The lefty hitter spent last season in the White Sox organization, hitting 28 homers at Triple-A Charlotte, but has not had any significant time in the majors since 2007. He will compete for a backup spot and would make $900,000 if he makes the team.Follow @NYPostsports