Clemens in no hurry to make decision

Clemens ponders '06 decision

Roger Clemens said Thursday night that he will consider four teams if he decides to pitch in 2006: the Red Sox, Astros, Yankees and Rangers.

In his first public comments regarding his future since the World Series, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner also told fans at the Texas Collegiate League Legends dinner at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth that he was fine with the Astros' decision to not offer him arbitration.

Clemens made his comments from the dais, where he was the guest of honor. He took questions from the moderator as well as fans in the audience.

When asked if he would consider pitching anywhere but Houston next season, Clemens said: "It's the same players, it's Houston, Texas, New York and Boston. I love all those places, they have great players that I respect very much."

Clemens said he would like to be involved in the World Baseball Classic even if he isn't ready to participate as a player.

"We'll see," he said. "I'm going to see how my body is in January. If my body is up to it I'll be glad to be a part of that."

The Major Leagues ERA leader in 2005 seemed less certain about starting his season in May. Since the Astros declined to offer him arbitration, Clemens cannot sign with them before May 1.

"Even coming back in May to pitch at home, go on a couple rehab starts in April and May, to go and pitch with (his son Koby, a Houston prospect), that could be fun," Clemens said. "But you've got to understand you go and make three or four (Minor League rehab) starts and then your first start in June or July against Major League hitters. It's not a great position to be in."

Clemens said his agents were doing their jobs and keeping his options open, but he hasn't made up his mind concerning next year. He also said late January or early February is the likely timetable for his decision on whether he will pitch next season, "if I make a decision at all."

Clemens, 44, went 13-8 with a 1.87 ERA last year, the second-lowest ERA in franchise history. His 341 career victories are the ninth most all-time and the most of any living pitcher.

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.