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Report: Clock ticking on Pettitte's decision

11/26/2012 10:48 AM ET
By Jon Lane

Andy Pettitte could reach his decision for 2013 within the next week.(AP)
Nearly six weeks ago, Andy Pettitte met the media in the Yankees’ clubhouse shortly after a four-game sweep to the Detroit Tigers that concluded the American League Championship Series. During the session, Pettitte reflected on the season he re-launched his baseball career before addressing the future.

Unwilling to commit to 2013 at that time, Pettitte said he’d take a month to decide whether or not he’ll continue his second career. It’s been nearly six weeks without a sign that the veteran left-hander is either returning for a least one more season or retiring for good. One week after Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said there was “nothing new to report” about Pettitte’s next step, it appears that a decision could be reached in the coming days.

The New York Daily News reports that Pettitte has started his offseason training program “to see how his body will react” before making his plans public. The paper adds that while Pettitte is expected to make a decision “soon,” it’s unclear whether it will happen before the commencement of next week’s annual Winter Meetings.

Writes Mark Feinsand: “Pettitte has talked about not wanting to hold up the Yankees’ offseason plans, so with the winter meetings set to open next Monday, it’s possible he will end the suspense in the coming days.”

The way Pettitte performed last season – despite missing 12 weeks after a line drive fractured his left fibula – it was like he never left. Pettitte went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts and 0-1, 3.29 in two postseason starts. When the Yankees re-signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $15 million deal last week it crossed a critical item off their offseason checklist. If Pettitte comes back, the Yankees will return a deep rotation fronted by ace CC Sabathia, Kuroda and Pettitte. Phil Hughes would be locked in as fourth starter with Ivan Nova and David Phelps competing for the fifth spot – barring the signing of another B- or C-list starter.

“There’s no doubt I still have the desire to compete,” said Pettitte, who later turned the focus to his family. “I’ve got one (son) that’s going to be going off to college, and I know that there’s a certain extent he wants me to be there to see some of that. Anybody that’s a parent knows what it is. It’s something we’ll have to figure out.”

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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