Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte has agreed to return to the New York Yankees for another season, signing a one-year contract that will pay him at least $12 million.

The incentives-laden deal provides further stability to the Yankees' 2013 pitching staff and comes a week after the club signed Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $15 million contract.

The 40-year-old Pettitte - who holds the major league record for most postseason victories with 19 - posted a 5-4 record with a low 2.87 ERA in 12 starts for the Yankees in 2012, but he missed two-and-a-half months after being struck hard by a ground ball in a game in late June and sustaining a broken lower left leg.

To make room on their 40-man roster for the southpaw, the Yankees designated catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment.

The veteran pitcher had retired after the 2010 season but decided to make a comeback in 2012, signing a contract that guaranteed him $2.5 million.

Pettitte will join a rotation that includes ace CC Sabathia, Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Dominican right-hander Ivan Nova.

The Yankees also are negotiating a deal with Panamanian closer Mariano Rivera, who turned 43 on Thursday.

Rivera, the all-time saves leader, missed all but one month of the 2012 season after tearing ligaments in his knee in a freak batting-practice accident.

The Yankees made the playoffs for the 17th time in 18 years in 2012, but their season ended on a sour note when they were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. EFE