TAMPA, Fla. — Andy Pettitte is coming back to the Yankees. The 240-game winner signed a Minor League contract on Friday and will slip his old No. 46 back on in an attempt to restart his career.
The contract is worth $2.5 million, YES Network’s Jack Curry reported.
Pettitte, 39, did not pitch in 2011 and had already made two visits to the Yankees’ Spring Training camp this year as a guest instructor, throwing batting practice and saying that he was keeping his left arm in shape by tossing to his children.
Speaking at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Feb. 27, Pettitte said that he was content with his decision to retire but believed he could make a comeback if he so desired.
“I’m sure I could,” Pettitte said that day. “You start training, working out and getting yourself into shape, I’d imagine you could. I retired, I felt, after one of my better years. I felt like I was at the point where I just kind of knew what I was doing mechanically out there on the mound. I retired to go home and be with my family.”
A five-time World Series winner with the Yankees — in 1996, 1998-2000 and 2009 — Pettitte announced his retirement in a news conference at Yankee Stadium on Feb. 4, 2011, saying that he no longer felt the drive to put the uniform on for another season.
That apparently changed, as Pettitte tried his old uniform on for size at the team’s training complex, commenting at the time how odd it felt to be dressing in the coaches’ room instead of alongside teammates like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia.
Pettitte pitched 13 of his 16 big league seasons with the Yankees, spending 2004-06 in his native Houston, pitching for the Astros. The left-hander is the all-time leader in postseason wins (19), starts (42) and innings pitched (263). He is tied for second in postseason strikeouts (173) with Roger Clemens, 26 behind John Smoltz.
His 203 victories as a Yankee rank third in franchise history, behind Hall of Famers Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231), and his 1,823 strikeouts are second, only 133 behind Ford’s 1,956. He was an All-Star in 2010, when he went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts despite missing two months with a left groin injury.