Pettitte, Yankees reach 1-year deal
NEW YORK (AP)
The arm felt strong. His family was on board for at least one more year and he felt there was a real chance of adding another World Series title to his collection.
With nothing to hold him back, the lefty agreed to a one-year deal with the Yankees worth $12 million on Wednesday, putting baseball's biggest postseason winner back in pinstripes.
''I think we're good enough to go all the way, I really do,'' Pettitte said on a conference call. ''I'm at the point where, if I didn't feel like we had a chance to win it deep down, I wouldn't do this. I feel like we've got a certain group of guys that are still there and that know how to win and know how to get it done, and we can go do that.''
The five-time World Series champion turns 41 in June. He retired after the 2010 season to spend more time at home but then decided to come back this year - while working as an instructor during spring training - and signed a contract guaranteeing him $2.5 million.
Pettitte went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts. He missed almost three months because of a broken lower left leg, sustained when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland's Casey Kotchman on June 27.
''I definitely think that if I would have pitched a full season and thrown 200 innings, that I definitely wouldn't feel as fresh and physically feel as good as I do right now,'' Pettitte said. ''Obviously, I feel like that helped lead me to a quick decision.''
Pettitte's signing was the Yankees' second move to solidify their rotation in about a week. New York gave Hiroki Kuroda a $15 million, one-year contract to return.
Next up for general manager Brian Cashman could be a contract for 43-year-old closer Mariano Rivera, who is determined to come back after tearing a knee ligament in May while shagging flies during batting practice.
A reliable No. 2 starter throughout his career, Pettitte is 245-142 with the Yankees and Houston in 17 major league seasons. He is the winningest pitcher in postseason history at 19-11.
The Yankees designated catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment to make room for Pettitte on the 40-man roster. The 33-year-old Whiteside was claimed off waivers from San Francisco on Nov. 5.