In ending what turned out to be by far the offseason's longest saga, veteran lefty Andy Pettitte is set to officially announce his retirement from baseball at a Friday press conference. The press conference is scheduled for 10:30am EST.
The news was first broken by Michael Kay, and soon thereafter it was confirmed by Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman. Pettitte has informed the Yankees of his decision, and he's currently en route to New York in advance of his announcement.
All winter, there were questions of whether or not Pettitte would return for a 17th season. He was only ever a possibility for the Yankees, and recently there had been rumblings that he was keeping himself in playing shape, causing people to believe he was preparing for a comeback. In the end, though, he's opted to retire, and while he'll give his official reasons on Friday, one figures he wants to spend more time with his family, and feels like he's already given a lot to the game.
For the 38-year-old Pettitte, by hanging up his spikes, he's reportedly leaving a $12 million, one-year contract on the table. His career numbers are impressive - 479 starts, 3055.1 innings, a 3.88 ERA, and a 240-138 record. He also managed to throw an additional 263 innings in the playoffs, with a 3.83 ERA and an all-time-best 19 wins. He ranks 55th all-time in wins and 48th all-time in strikeouts, and while his stats aren't eye-popping, he'll be remembered for his durability, and for the role he played with five different World Series champion Yankees teams. Pettitte started 13 games in the World Series in all, making him one of the most experienced postseason pitchers in baseball history.
And for the Yankees, they now move ahead with the same questions in the starting rotation as they've been fearing all along. Behind CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes will be the unpredictable A.J. Burnett, and behind him will be a four-way competition for two slots between Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Bartolo Colon, and Freddy Garcia. Colon and Garcia would've been appealing once, but age has taken a toll on each of their arms, to the point where both recently wound up signing minor league contracts. The Yankees could end up with a pair of dependable arms out of this group, but it isn't hard to imagine the team becoming active in the trade market very early in the season.