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Rangers refute report on contacting Pettitte

Rangers refute report on contacting Pettitte

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NEW YORK -- In the aftermath of the Yankees' American League Championship Series loss, Andy Pettitte said that he planned to head home to Texas and again make the choice between pitching or retiring, his usual winter task.

Pettitte also mentioned that night that the Yankees are the only team he would consider, saying, "This would be it."

But a source told the New York Daily News on Monday that Rangers president Nolan Ryan recently reached out to the free-agent left-hander to see if he could convince Pettitte to pitch in his home state. However, Rangers sources denied contacting Pettitte and said the only contact between Pettitte and the club was when the lefty called Ryan after the ALCS to congratulate him.

Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, did not immediately respond to a request from MLB.com for comment.

Pettitte, 38, played three seasons with the Astros from 2004-06, but he has said numerous times that he would like to retire as a Yankee.

But with his left elbow still holding strong, Pettitte has also mentioned that the only thing standing between him and pitching another season would be his family, which makes its home in the Houston suburb of Deer Park, Texas.

"The kids are getting to that age where I want to be home," Pettitte said last month. "But I also know how important what I do is. I'm a man and this is my job. This is all I've ever known as an adult. Like I said last year, I want to make sure I fully exhaust myself of this and run it out."

Of course, the Yankees and the Rangers are preparing to do battle over another free-agent left-hander, with Cliff Lee figuring to be the talk of the upcoming Winter Meetings and headed for a big payday.

Pinstripes might suit Pettitte, but he has spoken about the grind of trying to maintain his home life while pitching for the Yankees. The Rangers play their home games just 250 miles across the state.

"It's a long flight down to Houston, Texas, from New York," Pettitte said. "The off-days and stuff like that, it's tough to go back and forth and try to see [the family] like I want to see them. I'm just going to go home and see if I feel like I can make another run at this thing."

Pettitte earned $16 million in 2007 and '08, but took an incentive-laden $5.5 million deal from the Yankees in '09 before earning $11.75 million this year.

He was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts, earning selection to the American League All-Star team, but missed two months due to a left groin strain suffered in July. Pettitte was 1-1 in two postseason starts while battling a hamstring strain that wasn't revealed until later.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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