NY Daily News:
The Houston Astros had as active a Black Friday as any ardent shopper yesterday without setting foot in a mall, signing outfielder Carlos Lee and righthanded starter Woody Williams, moves that may have an impact on the Yankees' hopes of landing old pal Andy Pettitte.
Houston's spending spree undoubtedly will fuel speculation that the Astros are moving ahead with winter plans that don't include Pettitte, a free agent who hasn't decided whether he will play again next season or retire. The Astros also may wonder if Roger Clemens, the perpetually unretiring superstar, will return as well.
The Yankees would love to add Pettitte to their rotation, which currently only includes Chien-Ming Wang, the soon-to-be-officially-signed Mike Mussina and a load of question marks such as Randy Johnson, who is recovering from back surgery, and the unendingly injured Carl Pavano. They intend to inquire about Clemens, too.
The Astros gave Lee, who finished the 2006 season with the Rangers after being dealt by the Brewers, a six-year, $100 million contract to bolster their hitting, which was the worst in the National League last season, and Williams signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal that also has a club option for a third year at $6.5 million, according to The Associated Press.
Earlier this month, Pettitte joined Joe Torre and his former teammates on the 1996 Yankee team that won the World Series at Torre's Safe at Home Foundation dinner in New York and told reporters he was struggling with his decision.
"It's still kind of up in the air, which direction to go," Pettitte said then. "I want to make a decision and get it behind me. I want to make the right decision. Everybody wants to know, here and in Houston. It's hard to assess."
Asked about a possible return to the Yankees, Pettitte said, "I love New York, it's so special. But Houston has been awesome, too, the time I've been able to spend with my family.
"If I had to make a decision right now, I wouldn't play."
Randy Hendricks, one of the agents for both Pettitte and Clemens, told the Daily News earlier this month that neither of his clients has decided whether to play.
"We will listen to anyone who calls," Hendricks wrote in an E-mail at the time.
In other Yankee doings, they are interested in Shea Hillenbrand or Rich Aurilia as a possible righthanded-hitting first baseman. According to a baseball official, the Yankees inquired about a trade for Tampa Bay's Ty Wigginton, the former Met, but the price tag apparently was too high.