As the New York Yankees focus on lowering the team's payroll under $189 million by 2014, general manager Brian Cashman is looking to fill out the roster with aging stars willing to take one-year deals. Though New York's pitching staff is currently depleted as Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, and Mariano Rivera hit the free agent market, the Yankees have faith they can keep all three pitchers next season with short-term deals.
Pettitte, 40, came out of retirement late in spring training to rejoin the Yankees, but after an ankle injury sidelined him for over two months, the veteran lefty is expected to come back for one more season. In 12 regular season starts, Pettitte was 5-4 with a stunning 2.87 ERA. In two postseason starts, 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA.
Pettitte earned just $2.5 million in 2012, so expect him to see a raise if he agrees to come back for another season with the Yankees.
Kuroda, 37, signed a one-year deal with the Yankees prior to the 2012 season and stepped up as the team's number two starter behind CC Sabathia. The five-year veteran was 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA in 219.2 innings pitched.
He will be 38 years old at the start of next season and would like to finish his career in Japan, so the Yankees are hoping he will agree to another one-year deal to stay in the Bronx before heading back to Japan. Kuroda rejected New York's $13.3 million qualifying offer, so the Yankees will have to up their offer as the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers may try to snag Kuroda off the free agent market.
Rivera is coming off a torn ACL which ended his season back in May. Though he turns 43 years old in late November, Mo has told Cashman and the Yankees that he will play next season. The Yankees expect to work out a one-year deal with the future Hall of Famer, but would like to cut back from the $15 million he earned last season.
Rivera's replacement last season, Rafael Soriano, has opted out of his contract with the Yankees and rejected their qualifying offer in hopes of signing a long-term deal, so his chances of returning to New York are very slim.
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