AP Source: Yankees reach deal with Sexson

Updated: July 17, 2008, 6:02 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- First baseman Richie Sexson and the New York Yankees reached a deal Thursday, a week after the Seattle Mariners cut the slumping slugger.

A person familiar with the contract said Sexson would be paid a prorated share of the $390,000 minimum salary. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made.

ESPN.com first reported a tentative agreement between Sexson and the Yankees.

The Yankees were eager to add a powerful right-handed bat as they start the second half of the season. They went into the All-Star break third in the AL East, six games behind Boston.

Sexson hit .344 with five home runs in 71 at-bats against lefties this year. That was his bright spot during a season in which the 33-year-old Sexson hit .218 overall with 11 homers and 30 RBIs.

The Yankees picked up a fraction of Sexson's contract, leaving the Mariners to pay the rest of his $14 million salary.

New York is minus two of its top hitters. Leadoff man Johnny Damon is on the disabled list because of an injured left shoulder and Hideki Matsui is sidelined with a sore knee that could require season-ending surgery.

The Yankees' lineup is packed with left-handed hitters -- Damon, Matsui, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano swing from that side -- and New York has struggled against lefty pitching all year.

A native of Brush Prairie, Wash., the 6-foot-8 Sexson became a frequent target of boobirds in Seattle over the past two years. He hit a career-low .205 with 21 homers and 100 strikeouts in 2007, and often was benched in favor of Miguel Cairo this season.

Seattle, one of baseball's biggest disappointments this year, released Sexson right before the All-Star break.

Sexson has hit 30 or more homers six times, and also has six seasons of at least 100 RBIs. He started his major league career in 1997 with Cleveland and later played for Milwaukee and Arizona.

Sexson signed a $50 million, four-year contract with the Mariners in December 2004. He topped 30 homers and 100 RBIs in his first two seasons, then dropped off significantly last year.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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