Pettitte declines option with Yankees

AP / File
Andy Pettitte (right) isn't sure he wants to return to the Yankees, now managed by his former catcher, Joe Girardi. His agent says the choice is between pitching for the Yankees or retiring.

ORLANDO, Fla. --- Andy Pettitte has declined his $16 million option to return to the New York Yankees, still uncertain whether he wants to pitch next season.


"I have spoken with Brian Cashman , who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season," Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks , said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.

"If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time."

The 35-year-old left-hander went 15-9 with a 4.05 ERA for the Yankees this year, including 11-3 after the All-Star break.

PADRES: Greg Maddux will be back as San Diego's No. 3 starter next season after agreeing to a $10 million, one-year contract.

Maddux's return appeared to be a foregone conclusion after he went 14-11 with a 4.14 ERA for San Diego, which fell one win short of its third consecutive playoff appearance. The former Brave turns 42 on April 14.

PIRATES: John Russell , let go by the team as its third-base coach two seasons ago, was hired as Pittsburgh's manager. He is the team's fifth full-time manager since the Pirates last had a winning season in 1992.


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