Yankees quick hits: Pettitte close to return

11/27/2012 9:50 AM ET
By Jon Lane

Nothing like a Tuesday morning filled with Yankees news. And while nothing is official yet, it’s all good if you’re a Yankees fan. Here’s the rundown:

• Andy Pettitte is close to formally announcing he’s pitching for the Yankees in 2013 and finalizing a one-year contract worth about $11 million, reports Buster Olney. On Monday night, Pettitte told YES’ Jack Curry via text that a decision was to be expected soon. The deal could be announced within a few days.

Reaction: Pettitte will receive a raise from the $2.5 million guarantee he made last season after deciding to come out of retirement at the start of Spring Training. Despite missing 12 weeks after a line drive fractured his left fibula, Pettitte went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts and 0-1, 3.29 in two postseason starts. As I wrote on Monday, a returning Pettitte gives the Yankees a full five-man rotation with competition on the backend between Ivan Nova and David Phelps. I don’t see it happening, but Nova could end up a good trade chip for outfield help with the Yankees then inking a B- or C-list starter as insurance.

• There is optimism that the Yankees will also complete a one-year deal worth $10 and $11 million with Mariano Rivera.

Reaction: Rivera continues to rehab from a torn ACL, but he’s still Mariano Rivera until proven otherwise. He’s the unquestioned Yankees closer and with the expected departure of Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma will be counted on to build the bridge to the Great Rivera – and perhaps be anointed as his heir apparent.

• Nikkan Sports is reporting the re-signing of Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year deal worth $5 million plus incentives. However, Sweeny Murti cautions that while there is interest, nothing is done yet.

Reaction: Rescued from the Seattle Mariners in a surprise July trade, Ichiro was brilliant in 67 games with the Yankees, batting .322 with a .340 OBP and .454 SLG. If the report proves correct, Ichiro would have accepted a pay cut from last season’s $17 million, but he proved he still has a lot left and would be a valuable presence even if he doesn’t play every day in 2013.

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