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Thursday, November 6, 2003
Filing likely a formality for Clemens

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte filed for free agency Thursday, removing the two pitchers from the New York Yankees' roster.

Roger Clemens

Andy Pettitte

Clemens has said he is retiring. By filing, the 41-year-old right-hander gives himself the option of negotiating with all 30 teams if he changes his mind.

Pettitte, one of the top pitchers in this year's free-agent group, has not yet started negotiations for a new contract. The Yankees repeatedly have said they hope to re-sign him and he has said it would be hard for him to imagine pitching for another team.

Also filing Thursday were Florida second baseman Luis Castillo, New York Mets infielder Jay Bell and Pittsburgh infielder Pat Meares.

Bell also intends to retire, and Meares spent the past two seasons on the disabled list because of a hand injury.

The Chicago White Sox exercised a $5 million option on shortstop Jose Valentin, who had filed provisionally on Oct. 27. If Chicago had declined the option, the White Sox would have had to pay a $500,000 buyout.

A record 205 players have filed for free agency since the World Series and eight more potentially are eligible to file by Sunday's deadline.