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Andy Pettitte 'Leaning Toward Retiring,' Says Mark Teixeira

As the off-season rolls on, it seems the New York Yankees are coming more and more to the belief that 38-year-old left-hander Andy Pettitte will retire rather than return for another season in the Bronx.

First baseman Mark Teixeira offered more evidence of that on Tuesday during an appearance to kick off Thursday’s Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

“I think, like everyone else [thinks], if he’s leaning one way, he’s probably leaning toward retiring,” Teixeira said. “I think that’s what he’s publicly said. It’s no secret right now. That’s probably where he’s leaning. But in a month and a half, a lot can happen.”

Teixeira seems to be holding out hope that Pettitte could change his mind.

“Selfishly, of course. I love Andy Pettitte like a brother. He’s such a great player. He’s such a great teammate. I would hate to not play with him this year,” he said. “But his family is obviously No. 1 to him, and if [returning to the Yankees] is not going to be in his plans, then we’re going to wish him the best of luck, and when he comes back on Legends Day, we’ll give him a big hug and tell him we miss him.”

If Pettitte does retire the Yankees are left with only three sure starting pitchers — CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. They are apparently interested in free-agent Jeff Francis, a left-hander formerly with Colorado. Some have suggested Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton as a trade target, though there is no indication the Yankees have actually expressed interest in the veteran right-hander.