The Yankees acquired LHP Al Leiter from the Marlins yesterday and scheduled him to start today's series finale in Boston against the Red Sox.

New York will be responsible for about $400,000 of the $2.8 million remaining on Leiter's 2005 salary, GM Brian Cashman said. There were no other players involved in the deal.

"We'll take a chance," Cashman said. "It wasn't going to hurt us in terms of player talent, and it wasn't going to cost us a lot."

The Yankees are desperate for pitching help with four starters on the disabled list. Kevin Brown, who has been on the DL since June 16 with a back strain, will return to start tomorrow. Brown, who has chronic back trouble, went on the DL for the 13th time in his career June 18.

The Marlins designated Leiter for assignment on Thursday after he went 3-7 with a 6.64 ERA this season.

"This is where I started in '87, and 21 years ago I was drafted by the Yankees," Leiter said in a statement released by the Yankees. "To come full-circle, I'm very excited."

Leiter, 39, was 10-8 with a 3.21 ERA for the Mets last season. He is 158-127 with a 3.76 ERA in his career.

* NOMO DEMOTED: The Devil Rays designated struggling RHP Hideo Nomo for assignment.

Nomo lasted just 22/3 innings in Friday's 11-6 loss to Toronto, allowing seven runs and nine hits with three walks. He is 5-8 with a 7.24 ERA in 19 starts.

Nomo, 37, has a record of 123-109 in a career that began when he was the 1995 NL Rookie of the Year for the Dodgers.

Tampa Bay has 10 days to trade Nomo or put him on waivers.

The Devil Rays also activated OF Alex Gonzalez from the 15-day disabled list. He was sidelined with a neck strain.

* HAFNER HURT: Indians DH Travis Hafner was hit in the mouth by a pitch from White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle in the first inning yesterday and left the game. He had some bleeding inside his mouth and was taken to a hospital for tests, including a CAT scan and a dental examination.

"It was a sinker," said Buehrle, who hit two batters in the game, the only men he has hit in 143 innings this season. "If I'm going to hit someone, I'm not going to go for his head.

"It slipped out of my hand. I hope he's all right."

-- From News Services

New York adds veteran Al Leiter, who was just 3-7 with a 6.64 ERA with the Marlins this year.