According to ESPN’s 2nd or 3rd most ardent Jay Cutler follower Buster Olney, free agent P Andy Pettitte has signed a one-year deal worth $16 million to return to the Yankees for the 2007 campaign.

While I’m assuming Yankee fans are thrilled at this development, there might not be nearly as much public support for putting another former World Champion back in pinstripes.

Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll casts a discerning eye on some of the past week’s wheeling and dealing.

The Houston-Chicago trade seems to have fallen through, though you get different answers as to why. Jason Hirsh was the key to the deal, and several Houston sources say that he’s as close to untouchable as any Houston prospect. Whether he was pulled or Buchholz failed a physical or if this really wasn’t as close as several sources indicate, it does show how aggressive Astros General Manager Tim Purpura is, and that Chicago’s Kenny Williams isn’t done dealing.

The Phillies have six starting pitchers now. Considering the contracts and how it’s been assembled, Jon Lieber is the hurler most likely to go. Teams have questions about his conditioning, but not much else. A deal with the Brewers fell through during the meetings and that could be revisited, but Lieber should draw a nice return from any of several teams.

Scott Boras is always busy this time of year, but he’ll be working nearly full-time on Daisuke Matsuzaka. This one’s going to go right down to the wire, and several Boston sources I spoke with are pessimistic. Many worry that Boras will try to find some loophole or get litigious if Matsuzaka is forced back to Japan for the next two seasons. That’s right–the Monster wouldn’t be eligible to be a free agent until after 2008, not next season. Something tells me Bud Selig might be involved in this deal.

Yes, the Royals are well aware they’re overpaying. The 2003 Tigers were invoked by two teams this week. The Royals are making deals not unlike those Tigers, trying to draw free agents back, though the return they’ve gotten looks nothing like what Dave Dombrowski did for Detroit back then.

After refashioning their rotation with the additions of Brian Bannister and Gil Meche, the Royals continued to tinker with impefection by signing John Bale, out of the big leagues since ’04, and are said to be making a play for former Mets/A’s/Astros/Yankees reliever Octavio Dotel.

I’ll admit I don’t know much about Bale, but he was really good in “American Psycho”.