Yankees decline 2012 option on reliever Damaso Marte

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Damaso Marte missed all of this season following shoulder surgery last October and today the Yankees officially declined his $4 million option for 2012, buying the left-handed reliever out for $250,000 instead.

Marte was consistently one of the best southpaw setup men in baseball prior to joining the Yankees in a mid-2008 trade with the Pirates, posting a 3.18 ERA in 464 innings while striking out 505 and holding opponents to a .225 batting average.

Because of injuries Marte has thrown just 49 innings in three-and-a-half seasons in New York, posting a 6.02 ERA while providing essentially zero value during a three-year, $12 million contract. At age 36 he’ll likely have to settle for a minor-league deal this winter.