ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -Roger Clemens is ready to join the Houston Astros - as a consultant.
In a sign that Clemens' pitching career could be over, his agent told the Astros on Wednesday that the seven-time Cy Young winner is set to start his personal-services contract with the team.
``He's moving toward retirement and leaving open the possibility of playing,'' agent Randy Hendricks said. ``As Roger has stated several times, he's failed at retirement repeatedly.''
Hendricks sent Astros owner Drayton McLane an e-mail informing him of the decision. This was the first time Hendricks formally told Houston that Clemens was ready to work off the field.
It was not clear how Clemens would respond if the Yankees or Astros asked him to pitch next year.
The 45-year-old Clemens was 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 starts and one relief appearance for the New York Yankees. He rejoined the Yankees this season following three years with his hometown Astros.
Clemens was slowed by foot and elbow injuries this season, then hurt a hamstring and left in the third inning of his playoff start against Cleveland.
In 2006, Clemens worked with Astros prospects before he decided to pitch again in midseason. He joined the Yankees this June and received $17.4 million, a prorated portion of his $28 million salary.
Clemens is eighth on the career wins list with 354 and second with 4,672 strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan's 5,714.
His decision to start the personal-services contract was first reported by the Houston Chronicle on its Web site.

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