Larry Rothschild couldn't resist the chance to spend spring training at home.
"I didn't feel like it was time to leave the Cubs. It was time family-wise when this opportunity came along that the decision became relatively easy because of that," he said. "And the opportunity with the Yankees doesn't come along every day."
Rothschild lives close to the Yankees' Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.
"We understand his reasons for pursuing the opportunity with the Yankees and agree he is making the right decision by his family," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said.
Rothschild replaces Dave Eiland, fired in October. General manager Brian Cashman said at the time the decision was his and the reason was private, though it had nothing to do with the Yankees' loss to the Texas Rangers in the AL championship series.
Rothschild had been pitching coach of the Cubs since 2002. He was Tampa Bay's first manager from 1998 to April 2001 and was pitching coach of Cincinnati from 1992-93 and Florida from 1995-97.
New York gave Rothschild a three-year contract. The Yankees had him analyze video of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes and opposition batters as part of the interview process.
"He is above all else an excellent teacher, who brings a professional attitude and a keen sense of preparation to his craft," manager Joe Girardi said in a statement.
Girardi was a catcher for the Cubs in Rothschild's first season as Chicago's pitching coach.
"We were comfortable together," Rothschild said.
Rothschild's father is a Yankees fan, and the new pitching coach hopes the switch will help persuade his dad to move to Florida.