Tommy Kahnle of the Yankees pitches against the Red Sox at...

Tommy Kahnle of the Yankees pitches against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 13, 2017. Credit: Jim McIsaac

SAN DIEGO — Tommy Kahnle is Bronx-bound for the third time in his career. 

The free agent righthanded reliever, who spent last season with the Dodgers, agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million deal to return to the Yankees, a source confirmed. He rejoins the club that drafted him in the fifth round of the 2010 draft and has been in the market this offseason for bullpen depth. 

The 33-year-old Kahnle, who made his big-league debut in 2014 with the Rockies and returned to the Yankees via trade from the White Sox in 2017, joins a bullpen that by the end of 2022 was a shell of what it had been much of the regular season when it was among the most dominant units in the game. 

Kahnle, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020 that cost him all of 2021, posted a 2.84 ERA in 13 games last season with the Dodgers. 

He had a 2.70 ERA in 32 appearances with the Yankees in 2017 after joining them at the trade deadline, regressed to a 6.56 ERA during a 2018 season in which he battled injury and came back with a 3.67 ERA in 72 appearances in 2019. 

Kahnle is being added to a bullpen that currently features Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta and Lou Trivino in the back end. By the time the Yankees started the postseason against the Guardians, Holmes was coming off an injury, essentially leaving just Peralta and Trivino in the team’s “circle of trust” when it came to high-leverage situations. 

The Yankees remain in the market for a starting pitcher and adding another bullpen arm can’t be ruled out. Their priority is re-signing Aaron Judge, whose free agency continues to be shrouded in mystery as the outfielder and his representation have, to this point, executed their preference of keeping as many details about it as possible out of the public eye. 

The Yankees also are exploring the market for another outfielder, with Andrew Benintendi, a trade deadline acquisition last year, among their top targets. They are also exploring the trade market, with the Pirates' Bryan Reynolds, who can play all three outfield positions and was a player of interest for the franchise before the Yankees pulled the trigger on the Benintendi deal, a possibility. 

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