Matt Thornton agrees with Yankees

Updated: December 18, 2013, 11:15 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton agreed Tuesday to a two-year, $7 million contract with the New York Yankees, according to Thornton's agent, Adam Hubble.

The deal is pending a physical.

The Yankees are in need of bullpen help with half their regular 2013 bullpen gone. Mariano Rivera retired after the season, while Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan left via free agency.

Thornton, 37, figures to replace Logan as the Yankees' main lefty in the bullpen.

The Yes Network first reported the agreement.

Thornton was limited by injury, including an oblique issue, with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. He appeared in 20 games for Boston, throwing 15 1/3 innings.

He was traded to the Red Sox from the Chicago White Sox last season but was left off Boston's playoff roster. He finished the season with a 3.74 ERA in 60 appearances spanning 43 1/3 innings.

An All-Star in 2010, Thornton hasn't just been a pure lefty specialist during his career, as left-hand hitters have batted .233 against him, while righties hit .241.

The Yankees' plan is to have David Robertson slide into the closer role. They also have righties Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne and Adam Warren as holdovers from 2013. They could have a second lefty reliever in Cesar Cabral.

Hubble said that he and Thornton evaluated the market and felt the Yankees offered the best opportunity with a chance to win.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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