The New York Yankees are close to finalizing a minor league deal with LHP Jonathon Niese pending a physical, the New York Post's Joel Sherman reports.
Niese, 30, went 8-7 with a 5.50 ERA last season, pitching in 29 games (20 starts) with the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Should Niese pass his physical and finalize the contract, he would attend Yankees major league camp in Tampa, Florida, as a starter and reliever, according to Sherman.
The Yankees, according to Sherman, are seeking to find another left-handed reliever to join Tommy Layne in the bullpen. They previously considered Boone Logan and Jerry Blevins in the offseason.
Niese is 69-68 with a 4.07 ERA in his nine-year career, most of which spent as a starting pitcher. In 14 career relief outings, he has a 5.89 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings.