Reports: Yankees working on re-signing key free agents

According to multiple web reports Tuesday morning, the Yankees are nearing deals with a few prominent free agents, with hopes of finalizing contracts before the upcoming Winter Meetings.

ESPN the Magazine’s Buster Olney reported that left-hander Andy Pettitte, who is looking to continue his comeback career that began when he re-joined the club midway through the 2012 season, is close to announcing he’ll return to the Yankees next year and is expected to soon finish a deal.

Additionally, Joel Sherman of the New York Post and CBSSports.com‘s Jon Heyman have reported that the team expects to work out a deal with closer Mariano Rivera by the end of the week. Japan’s Nikkan Sports has also written that Ichiro Suzuki, who came to New York this year in a Trade Deadline deal, is set to agree to a 1-year, $5 million deal, though Newsday has refuted the report.

Pettitte, 40, was effective in 12 starts (5-4, 2.87 ERA) last year though his season was limited by a fractured left ankle suffered in late June. Suzuki, too, was revitalized after coming to New York in July — batting .322 and driving in 27 runs in 67 games.

Rivera is coming off a season that was shortened after he tore his right ACL.

Having recently re-signed pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a $15 million contract, the Yankees could now turn their attention to  free agent catcher Russell Martin.

– Joey Nowak

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