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Pettitte among options for Sox

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  December 9, 2008 01:08 AM

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LAS VEGAS -- Shortly after Theo Epstein met with reporters tonight, an agent walking the hall of the Bellagio resort and casino gave the Red Sox a supreme compliment.

"They explore everything,'' said the agent.

Including a name that should be familiar to all Sox fans for obvious reasons: Andy Pettitte.

Though there is no indication that any deal is imminent or that the Sox have done anything more than kick the tires, they have expressed some interest in the pitcher, according to a source.

The Sox made Pettitte an offer several years ago when Pettitte left the Yankees to sign with the Houston Astros. Part of Pettitte's desire to pitch for Houston at that time involved Roger Clemens's presence with the Astros.

This year, Pettitte earned $16 million while going 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA for the Yankees. The 36-year-old could return to New York, and there are also reports he's interesting in joining former Yankees manager Joe Torre with the Dodgers. But the Red Sox could be a fit later in the offseason if certain elements fall into place.

Given the state of the Sox rotation, signing a veteran like Pettitte to a one-year contract would make all the sense in the world. The Sox could employ Pettitte in the middle or back of their rotation -- as they might have with Curt Schilling this last season -- and benefit from both his professionalism and postseason experience. He is 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA in 35 career postseason starts.

Again, it should be emphasized that any contact between the Sox and Pettitte seems preliminary. Nonetheless, it gives further indication that the Sox are exploring an array of options for their roster.

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