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Yankees bring back Girardi's coaching staff

Asked in mid-November about the status of Joe Girardi's coaching staff, Brian Cashman said his desire was for all of them to return but that there hadn't been much in the way of contract talks.

"When we have agreements, we'll announce them," the general manager said then.

Wednesday the club announced its 2009 coaching staff, which was exceedingly popular among the players, would return this season.

All of the coaches' contracts, except hitting coach Kevin Long's, had expired after the season.

Besides Long, Dave Eiland (pitching coach), Mike Harkey (bullpen), Mick Kelleher (first base), Tony Pena (bench) and Rob Thomson (third) will return.

The team also announced the return of Dave Miley as Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes Barre's manager and Torre Tyson as manager for Class-A Charleston.

Long mentored a lineup that led baseball in nearly every major offensive category, including home runs (244), runs (915), on-base percentage (.362) and slugging percentage (.478).

Eiland oversaw a staff that tied for third in the AL in ERA (4.26) and was fourth in opponents' on-base percentage (.327).

The Yankees avoided salary arbitration with Sergio Mitre, agreeing to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal for $850,000 with the pitcher. Mitre was 3-3 last season (nine starts) with a 6.79 ERA, but he was less than a year removed from having Tommy John surgery when the Yankees called him up from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre July 21.

Hinske to Braves? A person familiar with the negotiations says Eric Hinske and the Braves have reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract. Hinske hit .242 with eight homers and 25 RBIs for Pittsburgh and the Yankees last season.

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