The New York Yankees reeled in another pitcher with a rich offer, reaching agreement with free agent A.J. Burnett on a five-year contract yesterday.

CC Sabathia and the Yankees made a deal for $161 million over seven years on Wednesday during the winter meetings.

But 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. and reported Burnett's deal was worth $82.5 million.

Burnett's agreement was confirmed by the office of his agent, Darek Braunecker.

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 (2211/3).

Meanwhile, former Yankees all-star centerfielder Bernie Williams, 40, is expected to play winter baseball in his native Puerto Rico.

Williams, who never announced his retirement after New York let him go in 2006, is expected to join the Carolina Giants in about a week, said Enrique Cruz, the team's general manager.

Cruz said Williams wants to get back into the game in hopes of joining Puerto Rico's squad in next year's World Baseball Classic.

Mets-Diamondbacks trade.

The New York Mets traded reliever Scott Schoeneweis (2-6, 3.34 ERA in 73 games) to the Arizona Diamondbacks and received righthander Connor Robertson (0-1, 5.14 ERA in nine games), agreeing to pay $1.6 million of Schoeneweis' $3.6 million salary for 2009.

The Diamondbacks also signed free-agent infielder Felipe Lopez, 28, to a one-year contract for a reported $3.5 million. He has spent eight seasons in the majors, splitting this year between Washington and St. Louis. He batted .283 with six homers and 46 RBIs in 143 games.

Taveras a free agent.

Unable to trade him at the winter meetings, Colorado allowed speedy centerfielder Willy Taveras to become a free agent. He hit .251 in 133 games for the Rockies in 2008, when he led the majors with 68 steals.

White Sox sign Cuban star.

The Chicago White Sox agreed to a four-year, $10 million contract with Cuban infielder Dayan Viciedo.

Viciedo, 19, played three seasons with Villa Clara in the Cuban League, batting .296 with 32 home runs and 123 RBIs in 233 games.

Chicago also agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder DeWayne Wise for $550,000 and avoided arbitration.

Two-year deal for Vazquez.

Utility infielder Ramon Vazquez, 32, signed a $4 million, two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates after batting a career-high .290 for the Texas Rangers last season.


Righthander Clay Hensley, who allowed Barry Bonds' record-tying 755th home run two seasons ago, and righthander Charlie Haeger became free agents after they weren't offered contracts for 2009 by the San Diego Padres. . . . The Oakland Athletics agreed to terms on a one-year contract with backup catcher Rob Bowen. . . . The Cincinnati Reds strengthened their bullpen by agreeing to a $4 million, two-year contract with lefthander Arthur Rhodes, 39, who went 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA and two saves and 61 relief appearances last season for Seattle and Florida. . . . Outfielder Willie Harris agreed to a two-year, $3 million contract with the Washington Nationals, who also announced they did not tender a 2009 contract to righthander Tim Redding, the only pitcher to win 10 games for the team last season.