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Yankees land Burnett for $82.5M, 5 years

The New York Yankees reeled in another pitcher with a rich offer, reaching agreement with free agent A.J. Burnett on a 5-year contract yesterday, worth $82.5 million.

The New York Yankees reeled in another pitcher with a rich offer, reaching agreement with free agent A.J. Burnett on a 5-year contract yesterday, worth $82.5 million.

CC Sabathia and the Yankees made a deal for $161 million over 7 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.

Burnett's agreement was confirmed by the office of his agent, Darek Braunecker. He will average $16.5 million annually.

"I think it has the makings of a great offseason, and clearly our players do, too," Yankees co-chairman Hand Steinbrenner said.

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).

The 31-year-old righthander was especially sharp against the Yankees, going 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts. Burnett, however, has been plagued by injuries over the years.

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

Wang was hurt for most of this season and Mike Mussina retired after winning 20 games. Andy Pettitte remains in the mix, if he and the Yankees want to work out a deal for him to return.


* The New York Mets traded lefthander Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks, cutting loose one of the most maligned members of last season's shaky bullpen. Schoeneweis went 0-3 with a blown save and a 5.40 ERA in September as the Mets collapsed down the stretch for the second straight year.

* The Cincinnati Reds strengthened their bullpen by agreeing to a $4 million, 2-year contract with lefthander Arthur Rhodes.

* The Blue Jays signed former All-Star righthander Matt Clement to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Clement, 34, has not pitched in the majors since 2006 because of shoulder problems. He went 13-6 with a 4.57 ERA in 32 starts in his All-Star season in 2005 with the Boston Red Sox.

* The Cleveland Indians were internally discussing the results of Kerry Wood's physical and had no word on whether they've reached agreement with the free-agent closer on a contract. The Indians offered Wood a 2-year deal worth about $20 million earlier this week in Las Vegas. It includes a third-year option.

Wood, 31, has a long history of arm and elbow problems.

* Former Yankees All-Star centerfielder Bernie Williams, 40, is expected to play winter baseball in his native Puerto Rico. He never announced his retirement after the Yankees let him go in 2006 and wants to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

* The Chicago White Sox agreed to a 4-year, $10 million contract with Cuban infielder Dayan Viciedo, 19. He will receive a $4 million signing bonus.

* Free-agent infielder Felipe Lopez signed a 1-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks for a reported $3.5 million.

* Utility infielder Ramon Vazquez signed a $4 million, 2-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates after batting a career-high .290 for the Texas Rangers last season.

* Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, of Kentucky, who threw a no-hitter for the Tigers in 1958, was kicked off the schedule of a sports memorabilia show tomorrow in suburban Detroit, because he opposed the federal bailout of U.S. automakers.

* Mercedes-Benz will not renew its sponsorship agreement with the Brewers and will pull out of Miller Park, where it sponsored the rightfield picnic area for 3 years. *