Pettitte, Castillo, Clemens file for free agency

Updated: November 6, 2003, 5:16 PM ET

NEW YORK - The list of players filing for free agency Thursday was as superb as it was brief.

Only five players filed, but among them were New York Yankees lefthander Andy Pettitte and Florida Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, who could be the most coveted players at their positions this offseason.

Yankees righthander Roger Clemens also filed, although he is expected to retire after a season in which he recorded his 300th career win and 4,000th strikeout.

Rounding out Thursday's list were veteran backup infielders Jay Bell of the New York Mets and Pat Meares of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pettitte will be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers on the market after going 21-8 with a 4.02 ERA for the six-time defending American League champion Yankees.

The 31-year-old was arguably the best pitcher in baseball in the second half of the season, winning 16 of his last 18 decisions. He also won once in each playoff round, but lost Game Six of the AL Championship Series and the decisive Game Six of the World Series to Florida.

Pettitte collected $11.5 million in 2003, but should command more in the free agent market. Many believe he will re-sign with the Yankees - the only team for which he has played - although some think he might return to his Texas roots and sign with Houston.

In nine major league seasons, Pettitte is 149-78 with a 3.94 ERA. He has reached the playoffs each year in the big leagues, going 13-9.

Castillo is coming off a season in which he hit .314 with 21 stolen bases and 99 runs scored, helped the Marlins to a World Series title and won a Gold Glove Award.

A switch-hitter, Castillo could provide a team with a quality leadoff batter, something he did for years in Florida before the arrival of Juan Pierre bumped him to the second spot.

Castillo has spent each of his eight major league seasons with the Marlins, batting .292 with 14 home runs, 194 RBIs and 250 stolen bases. While his forte is speed, he was only 21-of-40 in stolen base attempts this past season.

The 28-year-old Castillo earned $4.85 million in 2003.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index