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Pettitte: Not sure about returning to Yanks in 2011

Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York

Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees walks back to the dugout at the end of the top of the third inning against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the ALCS. (Oct. 18, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

ARLINGTON, Texas - Once again, into the offseason goes Andy Pettitte. Once again, he is on the fence about returning for another season.

"I wish I could tell you,'' Pettitte said in the aftermath of the Yankees' elimination from the playoffs Friday night. "I really do. I wish I knew. I'm just not sure.

"The only thing I know right now is I love taking the mound every fifth day. Unfortunately, there's a lot of other stuff at this point, at this stage of my life, I don't like about baseball. Obviously, it just has to do with the family. I'll just go home, let this settle in and try not to think about this for a little while and just figure out what I want to do.''

Pettitte, 38, had one of his best seasons when healthy. He was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in the regular season despite missing nine weeks with a groin injury. He worked hard to get back for the postseason and was the Yankees' most consistent starter in the playoffs.

"It was a hard second half for me," he said. "The body was definitely a little banged up.''

Pettitte allowed two runs in seven innings against the Twins in Game 2 of the ALDS and won. He allowed two runs in seven innings against the Rangers in Game 3 of the ALCS and lost to Cliff Lee.

Pettitte would have matched up with Lee again if the Yankees had made it to Game 7.

"Obviously, you look forward to that," he said. "To have a chance to go to the World Series - that would have been nice."

Pettitte made $11.75 million this season after the Yankees low-balled him with a $5.5-million base salary in the 2008 offseason, though he made more than that ($6.5 million) in incentives.

Lee figures to be the Yankees' top offseason target in the free-agent market. That could mean Pettitte will have to wait for the Yankees to decide how much they want to spend on pitching as they wait for him to decide if he wants to return.

"In Andy's case, usually it takes a little time," general manager Brian Cashman said. "We'll start the process and go from there."

Pettitte is 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA in 16 seasons and 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA in postseason play, giving him the major-league record for postseason victories. "There's nothing more that I want to achieve in this game,'' he said. "But I'm a man and this is my job and this is all I know. I don't want to shut it down and regret not playing. That's my biggest fear. I know now that if I'm healthy, I could pitch for a while. My decision will solely be [based] on my family.''

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