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Unsigned Posada says he prefers to remain a Yankee

NEW YORK -- Jorge Posada prefers to stay with the New York Yankees and believes he is "really close" to reaching a new deal
with the team.

"My first priority is the Yankees," the five-time All-Star
catcher told reporters Sunday at halftime of the New York Knicks'
game against the Miami Heat. "I would like to stay with the
Yankees. My heart is with the Yankees, so hopefully we can get
something done."

The Yankees' exclusive negotiating rights with Posada end on
Tuesday, when free agents can talk money with all teams.

"We're working with the Yankees," Posada said. "Right now
it's up in the air, but the chances are good."

Posada, coming off a season in which he hit a career-best .338
with 20 homers, 90 RBIs and 91 runs scored, has reportedly been
offered a three-year deal for around $40 million by the Yankees. He
is believed to be seeking a fourth year.

Posada also voiceed his support for new Yankees manager Joe
Girardi, a teammate in the Bronx from 1996-99.

"I love Joe," he said. "He's been like a big brother to me
since '96, so I'm really hopefully looking forward to working with
him."