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Yankees rumors: Kuroda signing will help retain Pettitte

Kuroda may bolster New York's rotation in more ways than one.

Al Bello

The New York Yankees' re-signing of Hiroki Kuroda not only strengthens the club's rotation directly, but his return also increases the chances that left-hander Andy Pettitte will put retirement on hold for one more season, reports Buster Olney of ESPN:

The signing of Hiroki Kuroda brings a lot of relief to the Yankees, who believe that his return increases the likelihood that Andy Pettitte will put off retirement and also come back for next year.

The 40-year-old Pettitte has dropped hints over the last month and a half that he could return next season, stating that he was disappointed to miss half the year to injury, but he has yet to come out and definitively say what his plans are for 2013. The conventional wisdom from those around Pettitte seems to be that he will return next year, but in the end the decision is his to make.

Pettitte came out of retirement and returned to the Yankees rotation in May, putting up a 3.22 ERA in nine starts before suffering a broken ankle that sidelined him until late September. The left-hander performed even better upon his return from the DL and finished the year with a 2.87 ERA in twelve starts.