Agent says Pettitte will pitch in 2007

Updated: December 7, 2006, 6:57 PM ET
Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Andy Pettitte decided Wednesday he will pitch next year rather than retire, a move that will set off negotiations with his hometown Houston Astros and the New York Yankees.

Money well spent
Barry Zito

Andy Pettitte, who is 186-104 in his career, turned out to be a good investment for the Astros, even though he appeared in just 15 games in the first season of a three-year contract. Pettitte's numbers with the Astros:

W-L 37-26
ERA 3.38
Opp. BA .252

"Andy told me he wants to play in 2007 and perhaps beyond," said his agent, Randy Hendricks.

Pettitte pitched for the Yankees from 1995-2003, helping New York win four World Series and six AL pennants. He spent the last three seasons with the Astros, who reached the World Series for the first time in 2004.

Hendricks is expected to talk primarily with the Yankees and Astros.

"There is no timetable other than all deliberate speed," Hendricks said.

Pettitte was 14-13 with a 4.20 ERA in 35 starts for the Astros last season. His decision to leave the Yankees in 2003 also caused New York teammate Roger Clemens to put off retirement and sign with the Astros.

He was a fan favorite with the Yankees, but it's unclear whether the two-time All-Star would want to leave Houston and return to New York. With the Astros, he would be the No. 2 starter behind Roy Oswalt.

In New York, he would join a rotation that includes Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson.

Pettitte helped the Yankees win four World Series titles, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged that players from that era hold a special appeal for the team's fans.

"There's no doubt there's a love affair for some of these players that will last for a lifetime, and you've seen that obviously when some of these guys return to our park in another uniform -- or guys that have been playing with us still," Cashman said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press