TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jorge Posada is not sure whether he will play after this season.
Posada, entering the final season of a $52.4 million, four-year contract, is being shifted to designated hitter but also could see limited action at catcher. The 39-year Posada said Tuesday he’ll assess his physical condition before deciding whether to come back in 2012.
If he returns, he’d like to stay with the Yankees.
“It would be really tough to look somewhere else,” Posada said. “If I want to play, I want to stay here.”
Posada is coming off surgery in November for a small tear in his left knee. He will not start catching bullpen sessions for another week.
“I’m coming in with a positive mind,” Posada said. “They want me to DH, so I’ll DH.”
Posada threw out just 10 of 82 runners (12 percent) attempting to steal during the 2010 regular season. He was limited to 120 games last season, including 83 behind the plate.
New York signed free-agent Russell Martin to be its starting catcher.
Posada said it wouldn’t surprise him if left-hander Andy Pettitte, who announced his retirement during the offseason, returned later this year. Pettitte said he will not play this year and said it was unlikely he will play again.
“Andy is a competitor,” Posada said. “That’s one thing you miss.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn’t expect Pettitte to pitch this year, but couldn’t completely rule it out.
“Andy has always been pretty much true to what he says,” Girardi said. “A man of his word, and he said he wasn’t coming back. He didn’t put out the possibility that he might come back the following year. He didn’t rule that completely out, but he said multiple times that I don’t plan on playing this year. But, there’s only a few things in life that’s guaranteed.”
A.J. Burnett, looking to rebound from a 10-15 record with a 5.26 ERA last season, was among the pitchers working off a mound during the Yankees’ first official workout for pitchers and catchers.
“I’m definitely more relaxed,” Burnett said after making 35 pitches. “I’m not going to worry about last season. I dealt with it. Putting last year away and just starting fresh”
Burnett lost seven of his last eight regular-season decisions. The right-hander started to look ahead on his flight home after last season ended.
“Pitched one game in the postseason, you know, and what’s going on?” Burnett said. “That’s not what I came here to do. So, I started changing it.
“Things are different, things change,” Burnett added. “Doing what I did before last year, not letting anything bother me. Not worrying about things. I do that, I’ll be fine.”
Burnett spent two days working on mechanics during the winter with new pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
“When he’s had some dips, he always bounced back,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “He’s had some tough stretches before and responded.”
NOTES: Closer Mariano Rivera was excused from the initial workout to be home with his sick children. … Ace CC Sabathia threw off a mound for the first time since surgery to repair a minor tear in his right knee. … RHPs Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, among those bidding for the final two rotation spots, also had bullpen sessions. … Martin, who had a minor tear in his right knee repaired in the offseason, is still working to improve range of motion. He caught Sabathia’s throwing session.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.