Thursday, January 04, 2007

Yanks reach Deal with Mientkiewicz

The Yankees have reached terms on a tentative deal with first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, the New York Daily News and New York Post reported Thursday.
Mientkiewicz, 32, was reportedly on his way to New York for a physical examination as a precursor to finalizing a one-year contract with the Yankees.

A Yankees spokesman said Thursday that the team had nothing to announce, and a telephone call to Mientkiewicz's agent was not immediately returned.

A left-handed hitter, Mientkiewicz would fill the Yankees' desire for a reliable glove at first base, perhaps platooning with either Josh Phelps or Andy Phillips while hitting in the lower third of the lineup. Such an arrangement would permit Jason Giambi to focus on serving as the Yankees' full-time designated hitter.

Mientkiewicz batted .283 with four home runs and 43 RBIs in 314 at-bats for the Royals last season before undergoing season-ending back surgery on Aug. 29.

A career .270 hitter, Mientkiewicz has played in New York before, appearing in 87 games with the Mets in 2005. He is perhaps best known for his role in Boston's 2004 World Series victory, having caught the final out from closer Keith Foulke before becoming involved in a custodial battle over the baseball.

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