NEW YORK (AP) _ Completing a deal that had been in the works for weeks, Mike Stanton and the New York Yankees agreed today to a three-year contract.

The 32-year-old left-hander was 2-2 with a 4.33 ERA in 73 games this season. He is 12-4 with a 4.20 ERA and nine saves since joining the Yankees in December 1996.

``Mike has established himself as one of the most durable and versatile relievers in the game today,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. ``He has also become, like so many others on this team, a player who thrives and excels in postseason play.''

New York also has been negotiating with Arthur Rhodes, a left-hander seeking a four-year contract. Rhodes and Allen Watson, who joined the Yankees during the past season, are among the candidates to be the second left-hander in New York's bullpen.