Andy Pettitte's Decision To Retire May Have Been Influenced By Cliff Lee

Earlier Thursday, news broke that Andy Pettitte has decided to retire after 16 years in Major League Baseball with the Yankees and Astros. Pettitte, one imagines, has a number of reasons for making this decision, but Jon Heyman notes one of high interest:

Pettitte told people early this winter hed pitch if yanks got lee but wouldn't if lee went else.

This isn't one of those things we'll probably ever be able to confirm, but if it's true, then Lee's decision to sign with the Phillies hurts New York even worse. And it would make some sense; not only would it be a privilege for Pettitte to pitch alongside the game's best left-hander, but Lee also would've given the Yankees a better shot at the World Series, and high championship odds might've been enough to entice Pettitte to return.

But, no. Pettitte's off, now, having personally informed Hal Steinbrenner of his decision. The Yankees are saying that they're not currently panicked over the state of their rotation, but that could change an awful lot over the coming two months if a few arms out of the Nova/Mitre/Colon/Garcia pool don't stand out. No matter which two guys end up winning the final two rotation slots, one figures they won't have much in the way of job security should an upgrade become available on the market.

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