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Baseball notes: Yanks sign another starter

SHARE Baseball notes: Yanks sign another starter

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees reeled in another pitcher with a rich offer, reaching agreement with free agent A.J. Burnett on an $82.5 million, five-year contract Friday.

CC Sabathia and the Yankees made a deal for $161 million over seven years on Wednesday during the winter meetings. After missing the playoffs following a 13-year run, the Yankees again showed they were more than willing to shell out big bucks for pitching.

Burnett's agreement was confirmed by the office of his agent, Darek Braunecker. The pitcher still needs to take a physical before the deal is completed.

He joins a rotation that also includes Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. New York is hoping to re-sign Andy Pettitte and has looked at Ben Sheets as an alternative.

Burnett won 10 of his last 12 decisions and finished 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA for Toronto. He set career highs in wins, strikeouts (231) and innings (221 1-3).

After the season, the 31-year-old righty opted out of his $55 million, five-year contract with the Blue Jays and became a free agent. He had two years and $24 million left on his deal with Toronto.

Burnett has done especially well against AL East rivals Boston and the Yankees. He went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts against the Yankees this year; he is 5-0 lifetime vs. the Red Sox.

Burnett, however, has been plagued by injuries over the years and has made several trips to the disabled list with elbow and shoulder troubles. He was fine this season and made a career-best 35 starts.

Atlanta was among the teams that also pursued Burnett. With the Yankees and their $1 billion-plus new ballpark, he would join a rotation that includes Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain.

PHILLIES SIGN IBANEZ? The Philadelphia Phillies reached a preliminary agreement with outfielder Raul Ibanez on a three-year contract worth about $30 million. The agreement is subject to Ibanez passing a physical, a baseball official said Friday, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

VAZQUEZ AGREES WITH PIRATES: Utility infielder Ramon Vazquez agreed Friday to a $4 million, two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates after batting a career-high .290 for the Texas Rangers last season. Vazquez can play all four infield positions. He had six homers and 40 RBIs in 105 games last season.

CLEMENT SIGNS WITH BLUE JAYS: Former All-Star right-hander Matt Clement agreed Friday to a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and was invited to spring training. Clement has not pitched in the majors since 2006 because of shoulder problems.

D-BACKS FINALIZE DEAL WITH LOPEZ: Free-agent infielder Felipe Lopez and the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized their $3.5 million, one-year contract on Friday.

"We feel that Felipe fits our club well," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He is a switch hitter with an ability to impact the game with power, speed and defense."

By adding Lopez, the Diamondbacks fill a hole left when three-time Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson became a free agent.

HARRIS GETS DEAL FROM NATIONALS: Outfielder Willie Harris agreed to a two-year, $3 million contract with the Washington Nationals on Friday.

The Nationals also announced they did not tender a 2009 contract to right-hander Tim Redding, the only pitcher to win 10 games for the team last season.

Harris, one of Washington's few offensive bright spots in an 102-loss season, will receive $1.5 million in both years of the deal. He set career highs in 2008 with 13 home runs, 43 RBI and a .417 slugging percentage while playing five positions (left field, center field, second base, shortstop, third base) in a team-high 140 games.

CUBS SIGN TWO: Right-hander Chad Gaudin agreed Friday to a $2 million, one-year contract with Chicago Cubs and left-hander Neal Cotts accepted a $1.1 million, one-year deal.

WHITE SOX AGREE WITH VICIEDO: The Chicago White Sox agreed to a $10 million, four-year contract Friday with Cuban infielder Dayan Viciedo. Viciedo will receive a $4 million signing bonus and be paid $1 million in 2009, $1.25 million in 2010 and 2011 and $2.5 million in 2012. He will join a team that already has two Cuban players in Alexei Ramirez and Jose Contreras.