Update: Bob Klapisch reports that “everything” points to Pettitte retiring. Not exactly good news.
Original post:Via Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:
Now that the holidays are over and Andy Pettitte has had more than enough time to mull over his future, the Yankees expect to hear from him this week on whether or not he will return to pitch in 2011. According to a team official, Pettitte and his family just returned from a Hawaiian holiday vacation and the Yankees believe he will let them know his intentions in a matter of days, after which the team will decide upon its next course of action. “Starter, reliever, a bat, it depends on what’s out there,” the official said. ‘”But we gotta know what Andy is gonna do first.”
Mark Teixeira has apparently been in contact with Pettitte this offseason and said that it sounds like he’s going to retire, but even that is speculation. The fact is, nobody knows what he is going to do. Most of what’s come out this offseason has been that he’s likely to retire and that may be true, but until it comes directly from him nothing is official.
Pettitte has been working on one-year contracts since he returned to the Yankees in 2007. He made $11.75 million last year, but only a $5.5 million base salary the year before. There is some thought that Pettitte was very upset over that $5.5 million contract (that actually ended up being worth $11.5 million) and that he may be using this opportunity to drive up his price to make up for that contract.
Pettitte has a lot of leverage this offseason because despite the fact that he missed much of 2010 with an injury, he did get off to one of the best starts of his career before the groin injury. Also, since the Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee their rotation has been very thin. It is possible that the Yankees may not even be a playoff team without Andy. So their desperation may mean that he could earn close to $16 million if he returns.