Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yankees' Pitching Looks Rosy

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yankees' Pitching Looks Rosy

Article excerpt

Andy Pettitte is close to agreement on a new one-year contract, and Mariano Rivera isn't far behind - giving the Yankees a clearer path as they head into next week's Winter Meetings.

In one busy Tuesday, the Yankees began to breathe easier about their prospects for next year.

General manager Brian Cashman had wanted the bulk of the club's pitching situation resolved before attending to other needs, which he expressed again last week.

"Pitching is our priority and has been our priority," Cashman said after re-signing Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal worth $15 million just before Thanksgiving.

On Tuesday, the Yankees and Pettitte were working toward finalizing a deal for 2013 that would be in the $11 million range according to a person familiar with the discussions. The source also indicated that a one-year deal for Rivera could be hammered out by the weekend.

Executives from all 30 clubs and representatives of baseball's free agents will gather in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday for the annual Winter Meetings, and there's still plenty on the Yankees' shopping list.

Talks are expected to heat up with Russell Martin's agent, Matt Colleran, on re-signing the free agent catcher to a multiyear deal - perhaps three years in length. Martin reportedly has drawn interest from the Rangers, Mariners and Pirates, though he has made the Yankees his preference.

Replacing free agent right fielder Nick Swisher, bolstering the backup infield spots and adding a proven reliever are also on the Yankees' winter itinerary.

But the real heavy lifting of this off-season neared completion as word of Pettitte's impending deal was first reported Tuesday morning by

This past season, Pettitte posted a 5-4 record with a 2.87 ERA in just 12 starts - a season shortened due to a fracture above his left ankle courtesy of a midseason line drive. …

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