Damaso Marte's first stint with the Yankees lasted seven months, from November 2000 to June 2001. He was then traded to the Pirates, who traded him to the White Sox, who traded him back to the Pirates, who traded him back to the Yankees (I'm not making that up). And this time it looks like he'll stay in New York a bit longer as he's agreed to a three-year, $12 million extension with the pinstripes.
With only Phil Coke in the pen as a lefty, this is a move that makes good sense for the Yankees. Marte has been brutal on left-handed hitters the past two seasons and he's good enough against righties to make him an effective set-up man and not just a LOOGY, if that's what the team needs.
As contracts go, the Daily News points out that Marte's new deal matches the one given to J.C. Romero last off-season, so I think this is a steal for the Yankees. Though his ERA has recently been a bit higher, Marte's strikeout and walk numbers are much better than Romero's and had he hit free agency, I think someone may have given him a deal in the neighborhood of the $6 million option the Yankees declined for Marte after the season ended. And $2 million saved is $2 million more that the Yankees can put towards trying to sign every quality free agent in the solar system. Hank Steinbrenner's evil plan is in motion.