It is the right question to the wrong person. We keep asking Andy Pettitte whether he will pitch in 2013 when we should be inquiring just how much the Yankees will beg him to do so.

Of all the injuries and issues that have beset the 2012 Yankees, nothing has been more damaging — short-term and, especially long-term — than the extended absences of Michael Pineda and Manuel Banuelos.

The Yankees were counting on that duo emerging this year as reliable rotation options. And, more vital for a team vowing to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014, the Yankees viewed Pineda and Banuelos as a high-ceiling/low-cost combo to make the inevitable decline of CC Sabathia more tolerable.