Pettitte returning to the Yankees

3/16/2012 10:52:15 AM

During his press conference the pitcher said he would "100 percent" not play in 2011, but added that "you can never say never" about a potential return.

Apparently, he was right.

On Friday the Yankees announced that Pettitte has signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Various reports indicate the one-year deal is worth $2.5 million.

Pettitte helped the Yankees to five World Series titles and two other American League pennants during his 13 seasons in pinstripes. He is the club's third- winningest pitcher.

The veteran lefty had said he was healthy but didn't "have the hunger" to continue when he announced his retirement. He will turn 40 years old in June.

Pettitte was a three-time All-Star with the Yankees, including 2010 when he got off to an 11-2 start. A groin injury, however, sidelined him for two months before he returned late in the season. He finished the campaign with a record of 11-3 and a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts.

Selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 draft, Pettitte made his big league debut in 1995 and was 12-9 as a rookie. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting that season, then was 21-8 in 1996 and finished second in the AL Cy Young balloting.

The Yankees won their first of four World Series titles in a five-year span in '96 and captured the AL pennant in 2001 and 2003. Pettitte was 21-8 in 2003, but left New York as a free agent for his hometown Houston Astros.

After three seasons -- and another World Series appearance -- with Houston, Pettitte returned to the Bronx in 2007. He helped the Yankees to another World Series title in 2009, earning the win in each of the series-clinching games that postseason.

Pettitte is the winningest pitcher in postseason history with a mark of 19-10 and a 3.83 ERA in 42 starts. He has pitched in the World Series eight times and owns a record of 5-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 13 Fall Classic starts.

As a Yankee, Pettitte ranks third with 203 wins, behind only Whitey Ford's 236 wins and Red Ruffing's 231.

Despite all the accolades, Pettitte will also be forever linked to using human growth hormone. He was named in the Mitchell Report, the December 2007 document which detailed performance-enhancing drug use in baseball, and admitted to briefly using HGH in 2002 while trying to recover from an elbow injury.

Pettitte has a career record of 240-138 and a 3.88 earned run average in 489 games, all but 10 as a starter.