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Yankees sign Leiter to minor-league deal


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NEW YORK (AP) Al Leiter decided against retirement for now, agreeing Friday to a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees.


The 40-year-old left-hander would get a $1.5 million, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster and could earn an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses.


Leiter was cut by the Florida Marlins on July 14 after going 3-7 with a 6.64 ERA. The Yankees, desperate for pitching after a series of injuries, acquired him two days later, and he started and got a key win against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 17.


He went 4-5 with a 5.49 ERA in 10 starts and six relief appearances with the Yankees but struggled with his control, walking 38 and striking out 45 in 62 1-3 innings. He said late in the season he wasn't sure whether he wanted to retire or pitch in 2006.


New York added two left-handed relievers during the offseason, signing free agent Mike Myers and acquiring Ron Villone from the Marlins. If Leiter makes the roster, it probably would be as a situational left-hander.


He held left-handed batters to a .221 average (17-for-77) during the regular season with the Yankees. In Game 4 of the first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Angels, Leiter got the win when relieved Shawn Chacon in the seventh inning and got Darin Erstad to hit into an inning-ending double play.

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I like this signing...what happens if the batting practice machines break....cheap alternative.


I think that's about his only usefulness at this point.


Actually if you watched the playoffs last year, he is money in the bank against Darin Erstad...he made him look silly at least four separate times. Otherwise I agree with you.

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