The New York Yankees today announced they have signed left-handed pitcher Andy Pettitte to a one-year Major League contract.
Pettitte, 40, went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA (75.1IP, 24ER) in 12 starts with the Yankees in 2012 after joining the Major League club on May 13. He missed nearly three months on the disabled list with a fractured left ankle (June 28-September 19), but returned to make three regular season starts—two of which were scoreless—and two postseason starts, going 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA (13.2IP, 5ER) in his playoff appearances. After signing a minor league contract on March 16, he began the year by making four official minor league starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Double-A Trenton and Single-A Tampa and two unofficial extended spring training starts.
The left-hander owns a career record of 245-142 (.633) with a 3.86 ERA (3,130.2IP, 1,341ER) in 491 starts over 17 Major League seasons with the Yankees (1995-2003, ‘07-10 and ‘12) and Houston Astros (2004-06). Among all pitchers currently signed with a Major League club, Pettitte ranks first in wins, starts, strikeouts and innings pitched. He is one of just 26 pitchers all time to be 100-or-more games over .500, and—of the 19 Hall of Fame-eligible pitchers who have reached that plateau—only “Parisian Bob” Caruthers, who went 218-99 from 1884-92, is not enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Originally selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, the Louisiana native has pitched 14 seasons with the club, going 208-116 (.642) with a 3.95 ERA (2,611.0IP, 1,146ER) and 1,892 strikeouts in 417 games (408 starts). In franchise history, he ranks second in strikeouts and starts, fourth in innings pitched and seventh in games pitched. His 208 wins with the Yankees are third-most in franchise history and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, most for any pitcher for his current club.
Pettitte is the all-time winningest pitcher in postseason history, going 19-11 with a 3.81 ERA (276.2IP, 117ER) in 44 career starts. He also ranks first all time in postseason starts and innings pitched (276.2), and is second with 183 strikeouts. Of his 19 playoff wins, six have come in a possible series clincher, the most series-clinching wins all time. Pettitte has appeared in eight career World Series (seven as a Yankee), winning championships with the Yankees in 1996, ’98, ’99, 2000 and ’09.
The three-time All-Star (1996, 2001, ’10) and 2001 ALCS MVP has posted a record of .500 or better in each of his 17 Major League seasons. According to Elias, he holds the distinction of being the only pitcher in Major League history with a record of .500 or better while making at least 15 starts in each of the first 16 seasons of his career (1995-2010). He also posted a winning record in each of the first 13 seasons of his career (1995-2007), marking the third-longest such streak to begin a career all time, trailing only Hall of Famers Grover Cleveland Alexander (17) and Cy Young (15).
In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment.