MLB Rumors: Will Andy Pettitte Play For New York Yankees in 2011 Or Retire?

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MLB Rumors: Will Andy Pettitte Play For New York Yankees in 2011 Or Retire?
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On December 8, 2006, the Yankees righted a major wrong by bringing back Andy Pettitte after he spent three seasons with the Astros.

Pettitte has been on a one-year contract basis with the Yankees each of the last four years. When he came back to start the 2007 season, he said he left Houston to come back to the Yankees because he wanted to win at least one more championship in New York.

Pettitte was able to accomplish that in 2009 when the Yankees won the World Series. Pettitte was 4-0 in the 2009 postseason and won all three clinching games.

Now, at age 38 and after 15 years in the majors, Pettitte may be finally ready to call it a career.

In an interview with KHOU.com, Pettitte said that at the moment, he was leaning towards retirement at this point of the offseason.

He did however say that if he were to come back, it would be for one more season in 2011 with the Yankees and that would be it.

This really sounds like someone who is extremely torn between one more year and spending time with his family in Texas.

Pettitte is 240-138 for his career with 203 career wins with the Yankees and 19-10 all time in the postseason. His 19 wins are the most all time for any pitcher in the playoffs.

Pettitte has always said that he would keep playing as long as his health was good and his arm was healthy.

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In 2010, his arm was fine, but it was a groin injury that sidelined Pettitte for over two months. Despite the groin injury, Pettitte still finished 2010 with an 11-3 record and a 3.28 ERA, plus was an American League All-Star, so it's not like his performance has dipped off.

If anything, before the groin injury, Pettitte looked like he was better than ever on the mound.

In Game 3 of the ALCS against the Rangers and Cliff Lee, he held the Texas offense to two runs over seven innings. But, Lee had the Yankees scoreless through eight and Pettitte took the unfortunate loss in that game. Even so, Pettitte was right there with Lee the entire game, which shows that he still had his good stuff in big games.

So now it becomes a waiting game for the Yankees with Pettitte. They will give him all the time he needs to decide his future, and he has every right to take his time.

For everything that Andy has done for the Yankees, he gets to have all the time he wants. And if he does decide to come back in 2011 for one more year, his spot in the rotation will be there waiting for him.

However, Pettitte's unknown future will almost certainly make the Yankees even more aggressive in their pursuit for Cliff Lee, who Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman went to visit in Arkansas this past week.

If Pettitte does call it a career, that leaves two open rotation spots for 2011. CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Phil Hughes are the only ones guaranteed to be starting in 2011.

The other day, Cashman said he wasn't "desperate" for Cliff Lee's services, although he would be aggressive in his pursuit.

If Pettitte does retire, I bet Cashman changes his tune and sees Lee as a must-have player and perhaps gets a little bit more desperate. Pettitte would be a huge void to fill.

So now we all wait to hear what the future holds for Pettitte and the Yankees. If 2010 was the final year for Andy, it's been an outstanding career for one of the best pitchers in Yankees history.

But if he decides to put off retirement one last time and come back for 2011, it will definitely be a season to remember for many Yankee fans.

To play or not to play, that is the question for Andy Pettitte. We will all eventually find out the answer soon enough.

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