Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Updated: February 16, 9:23 AM ET
Jorge Posada discusses Andy Pettitte
By Wallace Matthews
TAMPA, Fla. -- Jorge Posada said Tuesday that he "wouldn't be surprised" if Andy Pettitte, his batterymate for 11 of Posada's 16 major league seasons, returned to pitch for the New York Yankees at some point this season.
Later, in a follow-up interview, Posada slightly amended his statement, saying, "It would be nice to see him come back."
And although he admitted he had no real reason for believing Pettitte might change his mind on his retirement -- which Pettitte officially announced at a news conference Feb. 2 at Yankee Stadium -- Posada repeated he thought Pettitte's competitive nature could bring him back to the club before the season is over.
"I just know how much Andy loves to compete," said the 39-year-old Posada, who is expected to be the Yankees' full-time designated hitter this season.
Posada said he spoke to and exchanged text messages with Pettitte several times during the offseason and came away believing Pettitte was at peace with his decision. He said the feeling was reinforced while watching an unemotional Pettitte speak at the news conference.
"What struck me was how calm he was," Posada said. "It seemed like he had made his decision and he was OK with it."
Still, Posada said he had not given up hope that Pettitte would reconsider his decision at some point this year.
"Andy's a competitor, and that's the thing you miss," said Posada, who is entering the final year of a four-year, $52.4 million contract. "Hopefully, we'll see him again."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn't expect Pettitte to pitch this year, but couldn't completely rule it out.
"Andy has always been pretty much true to what he says," Girardi said. "A man of his word, and he said he wasn't coming back. He didn't put out the possibility that he might come back the following year. He didn't rule that completely out, but he said multiple times that I don't plan on playing this year. But, there's only a few things in life that's guaranteed."
Posada, who also could see limited action at catcher, isn't sure if he will continue next season. He says if he does return he'd like to stay with the Yankees.
"It would be really tough to look somewhere else," Posada said. "If I want to play, I want to stay here."
Posada is coming off November surgery for a small tear in his left knee. He will not start catching bullpen sessions for another week.
Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.