Yanks decline arbitration to all but Vazquez

Yanks decline arbitration to all but Vazquez

NEW YORK -- The Yankees will not head to arbitration with any of their free agents, declining to offer to all but one of the eligible players in advance of Tuesday's midnight ET deadline.

General manager Brian Cashman did not offer arbitration to five of the club's six Type A or B free agents, a group that includes Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood.

The only player offered arbitration is right-hander Javier Vazquez, but that is thought to be a procedural move.

After a disappointing second tour of duty in pinstripes, Vazquez is not expected to return to the Yankees in 2011. Though he could have cashed in for a deal by accepting, the hurler has already agreed not to accept arbitration, according to FOX Sports.

As a Type B free agent, Vazquez will net the Yankees a supplemental-round pick in next June's First-Year Player Draft if he signs elsewhere.

Cashman confirmed earlier on Tuesday that the team did not plan to offer arbitration to Jeter, who has been offered a three-year, $45 million deal but is not inclined to immediately accept.

Though arbitration would provide an avenue for the sides to settle their differences with a one-year deal, the Yankees would have run the risk of having to pay Jeter as much as $25 million for the season if the arbitrator sides with the shortstop.

There would have been similar risks with offering arbitration to Rivera and Pettitte, both of whom the Yankees want back for 2011.

Rivera is said to be seeking a two-year deal after completing his three-year, $45 million commitment, and Pettitte -- who made $11.75 million this year -- has already said that he will only sign with the Yankees, so Draft picks are a moot point.

Cashman said in a published report on Tuesday that he is "thinking 'yes' on Wood," but ultimately the Yankees did not offer arbitration to the 33-year-old reliever. Cashman declined an $11 million 2011 option on Wood, who earned $10.5 million this year and may entertain offers to serve as a closer elsewhere.

In addition to Berkman, who made $14.5 million this year and is not expected to return, the team declined to offer arbitration to outfielder Austin Kearns, catcher Chad Moeller and outfielder/designated hitter Marcus Thames.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.