Yankees sign reliever David Aardsma

Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma pitches in the

Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma pitches in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers. (Sept. 17, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

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TAMPA, Fla. -- With an eye toward 2013, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman signed former Mariners closer David Aardsma Wednesday to a one-year contract with a club option. Aardsma, 30, a former Mariners closer, had Tommy John surgery July 22 and is a long shot to help the Yankees this season.

"He's about a month behind Joba," Cashman said of Joba Chamberlain, who also is rehabbing from Tommy John and could be back before the All-Star break.

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But Cashman, who signed Aardsma to a deal worth $500,000 plus incentives, sees the possibility of the move panning out the way another one did in 2004. Jon Lieber, who missed 2003 recovering from Tommy John, went 14-8 with a 4.33 ERA for the Yanks that year.

"It's an R & D move, research and development that we feel might have a nice payoff," Cashman said.

In a corresponding move, the Yankees placed lefthanded reliever Pedro Feliciano on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. When the signing of Eric Chavez becomes official, Aardsma will be shifted to the 60-day DL.

Joba still strong

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Chamberlain threw another half-mound bullpen session Wednesday, this one watched by both Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. "I thought mechanically he looked very sound," Girardi said . . . Mariano Rivera said he might throw his first bullpen session later this week, maybe as soon as Friday . . . With the signings of Raul Ibañez and Chavez, there wouldn't seem to be any position spots open on the roster for veterans such as Russell Branyan and Bill Hall. "They're going to get a fair shake to try and make this club," Girardi said. "We'll have to make some decisions but . . . I don't want anyone ever coming into our camp feeling they don't have a chance."

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