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Andy Pettitte: Retirement A 'Very Real Possibility'

The Star-Ledger is reporting that there is a “very real possibility” Andy Pettitte will actually retire rather than return to the New York Yankees for the 2011 season.

That would be another blow in what has thus far been an off-season filled with bad news for the Yankees. Losing out on Cliff Lee. Watching the Red Sox load up with Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Jenks. Having no shot at Zack Greinke. Now, if Pettitte were to actually retire that would leave a huge void in the Yankee starting rotation.

Right now only three starters are guaranteed — CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. Sabathia recently had knee surgery and Burnett is coming off a terrible season.

The Yankees are praying that Pettitte returns to stabilize their rotation. They might be able to fill one hole externally, but two would be extremely difficult — especially in a market where there do not appear to be many viable options.