Yanks have many decisions to make

DETROIT -- Among a large group of free agents unsigned for next season, Andy Pettitte hopes to make a decision quickly on whether he will retire or play again.

"I wish I knew," Pettitte said after the New York Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series on Thursday. "I wish I had a set date or something like that. I know I want to make it as quick as I can. I would like to know. Hopefully, I can come to a conclusion in a month or so."

The Yankees have 12 free agents this offseason, including Nick Swisher, Ichiro Suzuki, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, Hiroki Kuroda, Mariano Rivera and Pettitte. They can choose to pick up club options on Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. This year's closer, Rafael Soriano, can choose to opt out.

The Yankees have yet to make any decisions on these players. Team president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman said there will be plenty of time to think about that.

"It is way too early to talk about that," Levine said.

Besides the huge decision on Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees must decide what to do with their outfield.
Swisher said he would like to return, but there have been many indications he won't.

After being critical of the Bleacher Creatures, Swisher, who had been a fan favorite, emphasized he wants to be in pinstripes.

"Absolutely," Swisher said.

He called his past four years "awesome."

"Absolutely awesome, bro," Swisher said. "The best place in the world to play, absolutely."

Ichiro excelled since the Yankees acquired him from the Mariners, and the team may want him back if he is willing to accept a one-year contract.

"The season just ended today," Ichiro said. "Like I said before, I just want to be that player that is needed and is wanted. That's what I can tell you today."

Granderson has become an interesting question for the Yankees. He hit 43 homers this season but saw his batting average plummet to .232. In the playoffs, he was benched for Game 4 of the ALCS and struck out in 16 of his 30 at-bats. The Yankees can either pick up his $12 million option or buy him out for $2 million. They also could trade him.

"I would expect to be back, but I don't control that," said Granderson, who would love to return. "You have to talk to the guys in the front office, and they'll give you a better answer than that."

Cano has a $14 million option the Yankees will pick up. There has been speculation the team may try to sign him this offseason to a long-term deal before he can become a free agent after next season.

One fact that will impact any possible negotiations is the Yankees' desire to drop below the $189 million range by next season.