Yankees make Myers signing official

Yankees make Myers signing official

NEW YORK -- By definition, Mike Myers' job description involves coming in against a tough left-handed batter.

But in a broader sense, Myers' most important assignment this season might be facing one especially tough slugger. If Myers regularly neutralizes Boston's dangerous David Ortiz, as the Yankees hope he can, he'll be worth every penny.

Myers, 36, agreed to terms on a two-year, $2.4 million contract with New York last week, jumping from the Red Sox to become the Yankees' much-needed left-handed specialist. The deal was officially announced on Thursday in a conference call.

"We're excited to add Mike to our bullpen," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "We've been looking for someone to neutralize the powerful lefties who continue to show up in the American League. Mike has a proven track record of being able to take care of left-handed hitters."

"The Yankees always put a team on the field that expects to go to the World Series and win it," Myers said. "I love baseball history, and being able to be a part of history and hopefully get their 27th ring, that's something I definitely wanted to be a part of."

A submarine-style hurler, Myers was 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 65 games for the Red Sox last season, holding left-handed hitters to a .158 average and a .198 on-base percentage in 95 at-bats.

"God didn't give me the ability to blow the ball by anybody, so I really have to use Jedi mind tricks to get guys out," said Myers, who mixes sliders and an occasional changeup with a solid two-seam fastball.

Myers adds 11 years of Major League experience -- including three postseason appearances -- to the Yankees' roster, further upgrading a bullpen that has also added Kyle Farnsworth in front of closer Mariano Rivera.

"I'm honored the Yankees would consider me for this spot in their bullpen," Myers said. "With the amount of left-handers that are in the AL East, you need a lefty to lock in the role. The Yankees have gone through a lot of left-handers the last couple of years, and hopefully, I can solidify that role."

Indeed, the role of lefty specialist has been a revolving door for the Yankees over the last three seasons. An assortment of southpaws have been shuffled and replaced since 2002, with mixed results.

And though there's no shortage of dangerous left-handed batters in the American League, Myers knows his main objective this season could be quieting the stroke of Ortiz, who hit five of his 47 home runs against the Yankees in 2005.

Myers has faced "Big Papi" only twice in his career, but he's retired him both times, recording one strikeout.

"You [have to be] very careful, limit your mistakes," Myers said. "You definitely have to work both sides of the plate, use up and down and keep him guessing. When he did his damage in Boston, teams more often than not stayed in one location."

Myers noted that he has had recent contact with free agent outfielder Johnny Damon. The 32-year-old free agent is apparently serious about the possibility of being the next to head for the Bronx, Myers said.

"He's definitely interested in playing [for the Yankees]," Myers said. "I've talked to him, and he has a strong interest in playing there. Hopefully, everything contract-wise works out, and we can be teammates again. I think he'd fare great."

Cashman declined to discuss a number of ongoing negotiations, including the state of his discussions with Damon and free agent Nomar Garciaparra, although he did note that the Yankees continue to move toward re-signing Bernie Williams and are open to more relief additions.

"We're still working on things," Cashman said. "We just don't feel like we're in a position where we can sit still yet."

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