Pettitte still waiting to hear from Yankees

November 7, 2008 9:06:31 PM PST
Andy Pettitte wants to play for the New York Yankees next season. He just doesn't know if the club feels the same way. General manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday he wants Pettitte to return next year but the 36-year-old left-hander said Friday night he hadn't heard from the team.

"I let them know a few weeks ago I'd like to come back and play," Pettitte said at Joe Torre's annual Safe At Home Foundation dinner, which honored the 1998 World Champion Yankees. "My agent said he would call me if he had heard anything and he hasn't heard anything."

Torre's Los Angeles Dodgers have been in contact with their biggest offseason question - free-agent slugger Manny Ramirez.

General manager Ned Colletti said this week the Dodgers made an offer to Ramirez that would give him the second-highest average salary in the sport behind Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

"I think he'd like to come back but still I think he's at a point in his career where he wants some longevity," Torre said. "Manny is a special player and I don't think this is going to be done overnight because he has to explore. I know he enjoyed being with us and we certainly enjoyed having him. Hopefully it makes sense."

Torre, who managed New York to four World Series titles but wasn't honored at the last game at Yankee Stadium, was invited to attend a ceremony Saturday where members of the '98 team will help transfer dirt from the old field to the new stadium.

"We got mixed signals because we have a brunch for our players," said Torre, who led the Dodgers to the NL West title in his first season in Los Angeles. "They invited me and I was going but it's in the middle of hosting the brunch and it was too late to rearrange it."

In order to return to New York, Pettitte likely would have to agree to a cut from his $16 million salary last season, when he went 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA - his highest ERA since 1999. Pettitte was 2-7 with a 6.23 ERA in his final 11 starts, and he missed his last turn because of a sore pitching shoulder. End-of-season tests failed to reveal significant issues.

"I don't want a multiyear deal. I only want one year," he said. "I would love to hear if they wanted me back or not. I'm not even thinking money. I think I've made it perfectly clear what my intentions are and where I'd like to play baseball. Other than that I'll have to wait and see what they'd like to do."

Only Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain are guaranteed spots in New York's rotation next year, and Chamberlain likely will have an innings limit. Mike Mussina is coming off the first 20-win season of his career but turns 40 next month and appears to be leaning toward retirement.

"Obviously there's discussions internally that have taken place," said manager Joe Girardi, who acknowledged Mussina told him at the end of the season he would probably retire. "Have we signed anyone? No.

"I know Andy wants to come back and we're interested in bringing Andy back. Andy's been a mainstay for a long time here and we believe he still has good baseball in him."

With its uncertain rotation, New York figures to be in the market for CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Derek Jeter admitted having a conversation with Sabathia about playing in New York but the captain insisted nobody needs a sales pitch to play for the Yankees.

"I'm there if somebody wants to ask me questions but I really don't think you need to sell the organization," he said. "I think everyone understands what comes along with playing here. You're expected to win. It's a great place to play."

Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, both coming off shoulder surgery, each said their rehabs have gone smoothly.


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