Team USA manager Joe Torre acknowledged Thursday night that the Yankees have expressed concerns about the possibility that Andy Pettitte will pitch in the World Baseball Classic in March. He refused to rule out the possibility that Pettitte, 40, ultimately will participate.
"I think I'm going to make the final call on this,'' Torre said before his annual Safe at Home Foundation gala. "I think I'll probably discuss it with the Yankees a little bit more just to see.''
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Teams aren't allowed to block a player from participating in the tournament. Torre said Pettitte's interest in pitching for Team USA dates to last year. Pettitte missed a large chunk of last season with a fractured left ankle.
"They have expressed concerns because of the injuries he has had,'' Torre said. "Again, that's the most important thing, to make everybody comfortable with what's going on.''
Pettitte was not included on the team's provisional roster last week, but Team USA left open a spot that easily could be earmarked for him. It must be filled by Feb. 20.
No interest in Upton
Brian Cashman said the team was never focused on outfielder Justin Upton, who was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Braves yesterday. Cashman said the Yankees could extend a multiyear deal to the right player, though he said nobody on the market warrants such a deal.
The Yankees signed corner infielder Dan Johnson, 33, to a minor-league deal, a source confirmed Thursday. Johnson's tying two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth against the Yankees in the final game of the 2011 season helped vault the Rays into the playoffs . . . Jorge Posada has been in discussions to serve as an instructor during spring training, though he has no plans to get into coaching full-time.