Tampa, FL- 406 days after his retirement, Andy Pettitte is back where he belongs…pitching for the New York Yankees. Pettitte came in last week to George M. Steinbrenner field and secretly tried out for the Yankees, and they needed little convincing, offering the post season’s winngest pitcher a $2.5 million non-guaranteed minor league contract.
Pettite told yankees.com,
“For me, it’s a no-brainer — I’m not scared. I don’t think I’m going to fail, but I’m not scared to come back. I’m not worried about that. I’m going to trust that I know in my heart I’m doing the right thing. And I’m hoping and praying that it’s going to be great.”
Pettitte swore that he was happy with retiring. Pettitte felt that if he had come back there was a chance his elbow might just finally give out. Now he has been working out for months and the 39 year old left hander is feeling great and ready for action.
Yankees #1 ace CC Sabathia said,
“We talked about it [Pettitte coming back]. It’s something that I knew he was thinking about. I didn’t really know which way he was going to lean toward, but I’m definitely glad that he decided to come back.”
Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman, told reporters Friday that he had made an offer to Pettitte in the $10-12 million dollar range back in December. At the time Petttitte could not commit and the Yankees went on to sign Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda.
“This is all about me having the desire to do this again. For what I’m coming back and playing for, it’s an awful lot of money and I realize that, but it’s a long ways away from what we were talking about in January. But I have a desire to work again.”
Managing Partner Hal Steinbrenner authorized the payroll increase to accommodate Pettitte.
Cashman said it is going to take a few weeks before Pettite is up to form. Cashman said,
“It’s really hard to say. He hasn’t thrown in a game since October 2010. We’re going to make sure we do the right thing, not cut a corner and rush and put him in a position where this is a waste of time and he’s not going to be in a position to stay healthy and be healthy and not be effective. He’s got to go through and get ready.”
A five-time World Series winner with the Yankees — in 1996, ’98-2000 and ’09 — Pettitte announced his retirement in a news conference at Yankee Stadium on Feb. 4, 2011. He said that day that he would feel embarrassment if he were to ever return, and Pettitte acknowledged Friday that it had proven true.
Pettite addressed the embarrassment issue by saying,
“I am embarrassed that I’m coming back, but then, I’m like, ‘What can I do?. Things have changed. My desire to do this has changed, and I sure as heck don’t want to look back 10 years ago and say, ‘Man, I wish I would have done that.’