Andy Pettitte Retires: New York Yankees' Core 4 Becomes 3

Double G SportsCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04:  Andy Pettitte (R) of the New York Yankees and his wife Laura Pettitte attend a press conference to announce his retirement on February 4, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada are no longer the New York Yankees' "Core Four."  After a 16-year career, Pettitte announced his retirement today. 

In an official press conference in New York, the left-handed starter acknowledged thoughts of retiring after last season, but said he felt obligated to return after the Yankees were unable to snare free agent starter Cliff Lee.

Pettitte realized his heart was just “not where it needs to be” after starting workouts.  Instead, the veteran will stay home and spend time with his family.

Pettitte is the first of the four to call it quits. However, while Jeter and Rivera have new contracts that go beyond 2011, Posada is entering the final year of his current deal.

Early indications show that this will also be the backstop's last year in pinstripes, regardless of whether he retires or not following the season.

The Yankees had held out hope that Pettitte would return. Now, New York has a big hole in their starting rotation as Spring Training approaches.

CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett will have the three top rotation spots. After that, the window is foggy.

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