NEW YORK -- Beneath the surface of each good-natured text message about the football schedule, CC Sabathia has been quietly gauging Andy Pettitte's thoughts about stepping back into the Yankees' rotation.
Sabathia said on Wednesday that he has been "lobbying hard" for Pettitte to return in 2013, which would answer one of the questions that the Yankees face in what promises to be a busy offseason.
"I know he's hanging out with his family, enjoying that time right now," Sabathia said. "It's not time to put the full court press on him yet. A few texts on a couple of Sundays, talking about football and throwing in, 'Have you decided yet?' We'll see what happens."
Pettitte, 40, said after the American League Championship Series that he would need about a month to reach a decision about next season.
Limited to just 12 regular-season starts because of a fractured left ankle, Pettitte acknowledged that his truncated season hadn't fully exhausted the itch he felt that led him to come out of retirement.
"I definitely, for my own selfish reasons, want Andy to come back," Sabathia said. "He's somebody to talk to. He helps me out a lot being a lefty that's pitching in this league for a long time. Hopefully he does."
Sabathia added that he is also in favor of right-hander Hiroki Kuroda coming back. Kuroda, who will be 38 in February, has been extended a qualifying one-year offer of $13.3 million that he must accept or reject by Friday.
"Hopefully Hiro comes back," Sabathia said. "He was our most consistent pitcher all year. Hopefully he comes back and does great for us again."