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Pettitte coming out of retirement

Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch during an ALCS

Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch during an ALCS game against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. (Oct. 18, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Andy Pettitte is coming out of retirement, the Yankees announced this afternoon.

Pettitte, after a year away from the game, has agreed to a one-year, $2.5-million contract.

That adds an interesting layer of complexity to an already interesting starting rotation situation, with the Yankees having a stiff competition among six starting pitchers for five places in the rotation. It is not immediately clear when Pettitte will report, or where he will be expected to pitch.

He had been around the club in late February, became inspired by the surroundings and called the Yankees about coming back. They could not turn down one of their most successful and popular pitchers.

Pettitte joins a team that is somewhat old--Derek Jeter isn't playing today because of a sore calf. Still, it will take any proven pitcher it can get its hands on.

Pettitte had been invited to camp as an instructor. He had a long, private discussion with Mariano Rivera and at the time it was assumed that they might have been discussing whether Rivera will retire after this season. But they possibly talked of Pettitte's restlessness in retirement.

At the time, standing behind the batting cage, he told reporters, "It's just good to be down here, man," said Pettitte, who retired following the 2010 season. "I just enjoy seeing the guys. I've been away from it, so it's just good to see everybody."

"It's kind of strange, especially just to now be sitting in there with Gator [Ron Guidry] and talking about being a full-time dad, being home all the time with your kids and having a 17-year-old son," Pettitte then. "Just talking about wanting to strangle them sometimes."

He did mention a comeback, saying that he believed he could get himself back in shape, but he added that he liked coaching his sons' basketball and baseball teams. "Just loving life," he said.

Derek Jeter said back then, more than two weeks ago, "He never said anything about ever coming back," said Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who has kept in touch with Pettitte. "I don't know if his wife would let him even if he wanted to. But he never mentioned it."


 

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