HOUSTON -- Andy Pettitte says he moved from Houston back to
New York because the Yankees put on a "full-court press" and the
Astros showed signs they were ready to move on without him.
Pettitte and the Yankees reached a preliminary agreement Friday
on a $16 million, one-year contract, a deal that reunites the
two-time All-Star with the team he helped win four World Series
The deal includes a $16 million player option for 2008 that
Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, said Pettitte would not exercise
if he were hurt and unable to play.
Many fans in Houston had hoped Pettitte would extend his
three-year stay with his hometown club. Pettitte and Hendricks said
they offered to play for the Astros for $14 million, but that the
Astros would offer no more than $12 million and balked at the
Pettitte said Saturday he was surprised the Astros wouldn't
bridge the gap between the two proposals.
"It shocked me that [the Astros] would not continue to go up,
when the Yankees continued to push and push and pursue and they
[the Astros] really didn't do much," he said. "It was a
full-court press by the Yankees. I've talked to the guys, and
obviously they wanted me to come back up there."
Houston was on the verge of obtaining pitcher Jon Garland from
the Chicago White Sox earlier this week for outfielder Willy
Taveras, pitchers Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh, a move Pettitte
said made it clear the Astros had written him off.
"You've got to figure that was a pretty good sign that they
were going to move on," Pettitte said in a news conference at the
Battleground Country Club.
Pettitte's defection to the Yankees intensified speculation that
close friend, former Yankees and Astros teammate Roger Clemens,
would join him in back in New York. But Pettitte said he had not
talked with Clemens about his decision.
"I haven't talked with Roger one time during these
negotiations," Pettitte said. "I don't know what Roger's going to
do. I worry about what Andy Pettitte has to do, and then go from
there. ... What he does is his decision."