- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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Maine, who hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2010, is expected to be insurance if he can come close to the form that saw him win as many as 15 games with the Mets five years ago.
Since 2008, Maine has struggled with shoulder injuries. Last year, after posting a 7.43 ERA in 45 innings with the Colorado Rockies' Triple-A team, he left the organization in June. This spring, Maine was in camp with the Boston Red Sox.
"He's interested in trying to get back to the big leagues, so we will see," Cashman said Friday.
Maine, 31, will go to work for the Yankees in Tampa, Fla., at extended spring training. The Yankees have been a haven for such reclamation projects. Some pitchers have made it all the way back, like Bartolo Colon last year, and some have not, like former Cubs phenom Mark Prior.
The Yankees also recently looked at Armando Galarraga, formerly of the Detroit Tigers. Galarraga, who came up one out short of a perfect game two years ago with Detroit, ended up signing with the Houston Astros.
The Yankees were expected to have a wealth of starting pitchers this year. However, Michael Pineda was declared out for the season with shoulder problems and Freddy Garcia struggled to the point that he was removed from the rotation.
To find his way all the way to the major league rotation, Maine will have to be better than not just one of the current five starters, but also Triple-A pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Adam Warren. The Yankees' top two pitching prospects, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, are also at Triple-A, but neither is considered a major league option right now. Banuelos is on the disabled list with a sore elbow.
Looking to add depth to their pitching options, the Yankees have signed former Met John Maine to a minor league contract, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed.