Jorge Posada: Return won't happen

Updated: November 9, 2011, 9:05 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Jorge Posada remains undecided on his future but believes it won't be with the New York Yankees.

"It's not gonna happen," Posada said Wednesday night at a Manhattan function for The Jorge Posada Foundation. "I don't think there is even a percentage of a chance that I can come back."

The free agent says he's not bitter with the organization he has played for his entire career. He said five or six teams have shown interest in his services.

"I will always be a Yankee. The New York Yankees, for me, is my second family," Posada said. "It'd be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn a new set of rules. But it's one of those things where I have to see if I wanna keep playing."

"At the end of the day, it's a business," he added. "You look back and you wish there were some things that could've gone differently, but they didn't. Everything happened for a reason. I'm not bitter at the Yankees. I'm not bitter at (manager) Joe Girardi. I'm not bitter at (general manager) Brian Cashman. It just happens."

Posada, 40, hopes to make up his mind early next year, which will give him ample time to get ready for spring training. He doesn't plan on letting the decision linger.

"I started working out again Nov. 1 like I always do, but I have no idea what's gonna happen," Posada said. "A lot of teams called after the season was over. I'm undecided. I don't know if I wanna play or stay home. I'm having fun with the kids and my family, but I don't know what I wanna do. I don't wanna make the mistake of telling you that I'm not gonna play or telling you that I am gonna play when I don't know what I wanna do."

General manager Brian Cashman told reporters Wednesday that he hasn't spoken with Posada's representatives. Posada's four-year, $52 million contract expired at the end of the 2011 season.

Posada -- a five-time All-Star and a four-time World Series champion -- hit a team-high .429 during the American League Division Series, but he batted a career-worst .235 with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs during the regular season. The switch-hitter had just six hits in 65 at-bats (.092) against left-handed pitching.

"It was hard to deal with after the (Game 5 elimination) loss," Posada said of being resigned to knowing he wouldn't be returning. "It was very hard that day. I was very emotional at night. It was tough for me to know that I was not coming back."

Posada, relegated to designated hitter duty for the first time in his career because the Yankees didn't feel he could continue as an every-day catcher, struggled to acclimate himself to his new role.

On May 14, Posada and his .165 average were dropped to ninth in the batting order against the Boston Red Sox. He then removed himself from the lineup, prompting heavy criticism for the move.

Posada was later benched by manager Joe Girardi on Aug. 9 in Boston. Posada went 3-for-5 on Aug. 13 with a homer and six RBIs against the Tampa Bay Rays, but he hit .228 to close out the regular season, and many were unsure if he'd even make the postseason roster.

Jesus Montero emerged as a legitimate bat during his rookie year in 2011, and it appears as though he'll begin the 2012 campaign as the Yankees' every-day DH, while getting spot starts behind the plate. Incumbent No. 1 catcher Russell Martin, who is arbitration-eligible, should be back as the starter.

Posada's former manager, Joe Torre, has a hard time envisioning Posada playing anywhere but in the Bronx.

"It's really tough when you play with one team and create the relationships that he has all these years. It's probably going to be tough to think about going somewhere else," Torre said Tuesday night.

Posada has regularly spoken with former teammate and friend Bernie Williams, who also went through a difficult exit to his Yankee career.

"He told me, 'Make sure you make the right decision,'" Posada said. "'Don't say or do something that you are going to regret.'"

Posada's wife, Laura, echoed those sentiments.

"You need to really be sure about your decision, because you don't wanna have any regrets," she said, adding that she'd love for Posada to finish his career in Miami with the Marlins, where their family resides.

"I love Miami. It would be a nice transition."

Posada is a career .273 hitter with 275 homers and 1,065 RBIs.

According to its official website, The Jorge Posada Foundation is a nonprofit organization started by Posada and his wife which aims to create awareness and raise money in an effort to find a cure for Craniosynostosis, a condition which affects the growth of the skull. Posada's son, Jorge III, suffers from the condition and has undergone numerous corrective surgeries.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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