"Once you're at home, things change for you," he said. "You feel at home; you're comfortable. At Yankee Stadium, things aren't always comfortable for you until you have success and help the team. The guys I was around this year were a big help, especially Mariano [Rivera]."Villone had an impressive first half last year, posting a 2.27 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .201 average in 36 appearances. He struggled after the All-Star break, as hitters batted .301 against him and his ERA in 34 outings was 8.35. The remainder of the Yankees' free agents -- Bernie Williams, Tanyon Sturtze, Octavio Dotel, Craig Wilson, Miguel Cairo, Nick Green and Sal Fasano -- were not offered arbitration before Friday night's deadline, as none of them would have garnered an extra draft pick for New York. Under the old collective bargaining agreement, any free agent who was not offered arbitration would have been ineligible to re-sign with his former team until May 1. Under the new CBA, free agents not offered arbitration may still sign with their old club at any time.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.