Yankees close to deal with Sexson

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The New York Yankees have reached a preliminary agreement with Richie Sexson, SI.com has confirmed.

The Yankees need to make a roster move to clear a space for Sexson before the signing is announced. Sexson is expected to serve the Yankees in a platoon role by playing first base against left-handed pitching.

The Yankees will be responsible for about $190,000, which is the prorated portion of the minimum major league salary of $390,000. Sexson was playing under a four-year, $50 million contract, and his Mariners salary was $14 million for 2008. He was recently released by Seattle, which is responsible for the remainder of Sexson's contract.

Sexson hit .218 with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs with Seattle this season. However, he hit .344 with five home runs in 71 at-bats against lefties.Yankees manager Joe Girardi recently said that a right-handed hitter was the team's greatest need.

Sexson became a frequent target of boobirds in Seattle over the past two years. He hit a career-low .205 with 21 homers and 100 strikeouts in 2007, and often was benched in favor of Miguel Cairo this season.

Seattle, one of baseball's biggest disappointments this year, released Sexson right before the All-Star break.

Sexson has hit 30 or more homers six times, and also has six seasons of at least 100 RBIs. He started his major league career in 1997 with Cleveland and later played for Milwaukee and Arizona.