INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Andy Pettitte(notes) asked himself all the important questions: Was he ready to prepare for another long year? Could he top last season? Was his family on board?
And then he decided—rather quickly, too—he indeed wanted to pitch again for the New York Yankees.
“I didn’t want to regret not playing,” he said.
Pettitte and the World Series champions agreed Wednesday on an $11.75 million, one-year contract. The deal represents a raise for the 37-year-old left-hander, who made $10.5 million last season and helped the Yankees win their 27th World Series title.
“I wanted to get this decision made,” he said on a conference call. “It’s nice to get it wrapped up.”
Pettitte became the first pitcher to start and win the clincher in all three postseason rounds. After beating Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels in the AL playoffs, he defeated the Philadelphia Phillies on three days’ rest in the sixth and final game of the World Series, earning his fifth championship ring.
The year ended so well, it prompted Pettitte to wonder whether it was time to retire.
“There’s no doubt it did,” he said. “What else is there to do? Why even continue to play? Why would you go back? How could you finish any better?”
But, he just wasn’t done. And with the backing of his wife and family, he had his agent call the Yankees during Thanksgiving weekend.
“Let’s do it another year,” Pettitte said.
Pettitte was 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA in 32 regular-season starts, and 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA in five postseason starts. His 18 postseason victories are a major league record.
A two-time All-Star, Pettitte pitched for the Yankees from 1995-2003, helping them win four World Series titles and six AL pennants, before spending three years with his hometown Houston Astros. He returned to New York in 2007 and admitted to using human growth hormone after the Mitchell Report was released that December.
Pettitte had a $5.5 million base salary last season and earned $3 million in bonuses based on innings and $2 million for staying on the active roster the entire season. He missed $750,000 bonuses for 200 and 210 innings, finishing with 194 2-3.
New York originally offered him $10 million last December but cut the guaranteed amount after it agreed to big-money contracts with CC Sabathia(notes), A.J. Burnett(notes) and Mark Teixeira(notes).
Because the season lasted so long, Pettitte said he would consider pushing back his throwing program for two weeks. He usually starts around Jan. 1.
The move was the third of the winter meetings for the Yankees.
They got center fielder Curtis Granderson(notes) from Detroit as part of a three-team, seven-player deal that sent right-hander Ian Kennedy(notes) to Arizona, and lefty reliever Phil Coke(notes) and outfield prospect Austin Jackson(notes) to Detroit.
New York also dealt reliever Brian Bruney(notes) to Washington for a player to be named—the first pick in Thursday’s winter meeting draft.