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Pettitte's future remains unclear

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

Even as Andy Pettitte stays silent about his future, two of the lefthander's friends think he'll come back for a 17th season. But the Yankees continue to act as though Pettitte will retire, and general manager Brian Cashman reiterated Monday that Pettitte's situation won't affect any other possible moves.

"Andy isn't holding us up from doing anything else," Cashman said in a telephone interview.

The Yankees continue to scan the market for help in all areas, but they're not particularly fond of any options, either through free agency or via trade.

Although they'd like to add to their bullpen - they announced the signing of former Mets lefthander Pedro Feliciano Monday - they're not enamored of the notion of giving up a first-round draft pick to sign Type A free agents Grant Balfour or Rafael Soriano. Nor do they want to pay Soriano a closer's salary to set up for Mariano Rivera.

Pettitte, meanwhile, took a family vacation to Hawaii, and common sense says that if he returns to the Yankees, he'll have to start training shortly.

A groin injury limited him to 21 starts for the Yankees in 2010, and he grinded through back and hamstring troubles during the postseason. So far, at least, he has been reluctant to commit to putting his body through another major-league season.

His family has endorsed a return, however, and two of Pettitte's friends think he still possesses the competitive fire. Pettitte told a third friend that he would come back if the Yankees signed Cliff Lee and retire if that didn't happen. What remains to be seen is whether Pettitte is fully at peace with not pitching anymore.

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