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Tue, 20 Mar 2012 01:38 PM EDT

Three months away of his 40th birthday, Pettitte stopped his retirement after little more than a year. The left-hander signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees with an invitation to spring training. NFL betting lines

“I knew he was itching…thinking about it, but a lot of people say that,” said Jeter before Saturday’s game against Houston.

The New York shortstop was a small surprised Pettitte made a decision to come back after not pitching last season.

“He retired, principally, because he would have liked to spend some time with his family, but perhaps Momma got uninterested in him a little bit,” Jeter declared with a grin. “He failed to talk around it at all last year, and then he started speaking about it this year.”

If Pettitte’s comeback is profitable and he’s added to the major league roster, he may get a $2.5 million, 1-year agreement.

Pettitte said in a conference chat his wish to work is back. He has pitched in the majors for 16 seasons, 13 with the Yankees.

He said that he was enjoying working out again. He gave no time-table when he could return, but it will probably be in May at the earliest. Football odds

“It’s good,” Jeter said. “He’ll add to our team on the field, off the field. Andy’s just a great guy.”

Pettitte is not anticipated be in a position to break camp with the team when spring training ends early next month. He has been throwing off a mound.

“One thing with Andy is, he works intensely hard,” Jeter said. “It’s obvious that he’s been working out. It isn’t like he’s coming off the couch.”

Pettitte, part of a winning championship core together with Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, last played in 2010, when he went 11-3 and was an All Star.

“I always say the same about fellows like Jeter and Posada and Mo: Their performance on the field completely makes you overlook the impact they make in the clubhouse,” New York 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez claimed. “The culture that we have got here, men like Andy is such an enormous part of that. He did miss it and I know we missed him. We’re super thrilled to have him back.”

Pettitte is 240-138 with the Yankees and Houston, and has gone 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 42 postseason starts.

“What a dazzling guy,” Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher said. “What a superb sports figure. What a thrilling time for everybody in his locker room and also the Yankee universe in general.”

Even without having Pettitte, New York had 4 starters looking to fill 3 rotation spots behind opening day pitcher CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Michael Pineda are competing for open slots

“Playing with the N.Y Yankees, nothing surprises me,” Garcia asserted. “I’m still doing my things. I am here to pitch. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Garcia’s bruised right hand still has some swelling, but he is set to resume playing catch. The right-hander took a grounder off the hand last Wednesday against Toronto and will miss his next turn.

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