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Yankees never made an offer to free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter

Then-Angels outfielder Torii Hunter celebrates as he runs

Then-Angels outfielder Torii Hunter celebrates as he runs to first base on his walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning to win a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. (Sept. 26, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

The Yankees liked Torii Hunter quite a bit.

But according to an industry source, they never made an offer to the outfielder, who agreed to two-year, $26-million deal Wednesday with the Tigers.

In fact, the Yankees haven't made any offers to any position players, although there are plenty they have interest in because they need help in the outfield and infield depth.

Nick Swisher is sure to be elsewhere next season, and the Yankees saw Hunter as a good fit but weren't willing to commit more than a year for the 37-year-old outfielder.

They remain very interested in Scott Hairston, whom they've had plenty of internal discussion about.

But, as of now, the Yankees' immediate focus remains on pitching.

Focus on retaining Hiroki Kuroda, a free agent who hasn't yet decided if he wants to pitch in the U.S. or Japan, and focus on reaching an agreement with closer Mariano Rivera.

Andy Pettitte will be added to that mix when he informs the team of his plans for 2013 (the belief continues to be the 40-year-old lefthander will decide to play next season).

A new pitching possibility emerged Wednesday as well. With the Marlins in full salary-dump mode, righthander Ricky Nolasco, a pitcher whom the Yankees have pursued before, is thought to be available.

A source indicated Wednesday that the Yankees are still interested in the 29-year-old, who is 76-64 with a 4.49 ERA in seven seasons. Nolasco has reached 185 innings in four of the last five seasons. He has one year left on his contract and is owed $11.5 million next season, so he wouldn't impact the Yankees' goal of getting their payroll to $189 million by 2014.


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