The New York Yankees are in the thick of a playoff race, but that may not stop left-hander Andy Pettitte from announcing his retirement Friday afternoon, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Pettitte and the Yankees are fighting for the second of two American League Wild Card spots, though their chances seem slim given their recent skid. Throw in the fact that there are only nine games left on their schedule, and the Yankees really need some luck to get in.

Playoffs or not, Pettitte will be joining Mariano Rivera in retirement following the season. The two burst onto the scene in 1995 with the Yankees, and save for a few years from Pettitte, they have remained with the team throughout their careers.

Pettitte hasn’t been his usual self in 2013. He is just 10-10 with a 3.93 ERA over 169.1 innings pitched. More often than not, Pettitte has found himself in jams that he has been unable to come out of unscathed. Couple that with the Yankees’ stagnant (at times) offense in 2013, and Pettitte hasn’t really seen the results he’s used to.

Over the course of his career, Pettitte has compiled 255 wins, 3,300 innings pitched and 2,437 strikeouts. He finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1995, was named an All-Star three separate times, finished in the top-six of the AL/NL Cy Young voting five times and even finished in the top 24 of the AL/NL MVP voting twice.

In the postseason, Pettitte ranks among the best in MLB history. He owns a career record of 19-11 and an ERA of 3.81. As the go-to guy for the Yankees in the late-90s and early-2000s, Pettitte was arguably the most important starting pitcher for the team.

The left-hander is widely considered one of the top Yankees starters of all time. In terms of left-handers, Pettitte and legend Whitey Ford are nearly interchangeable at the top of the chart.

Should this be the end for Pettitte, don’t expect a return like he made after sitting out the 2011 season. At 41, this is likely it for one of the best Yankees of all time.

It’s hard to foresee the future, but a spot in monument park for No. 46 could happen within the next few seasons. There isn’t another Yankees starter more deserving.

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