NEW YORK -- Rafael Soriano was activated for Friday's game against the Orioles after a two-and-a-half-month disabled list stint caused by right elbow inflammation.
Steve Garrison was optioned to Double-A Trenton to make room on the 25-man roster, and to create room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Sergio Mitre was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Joe Girardi said Soriano will be eased back into the bullpen, where he began the season as the Yankees' setup man.
"We're going to work him back slow," the Yankees' manager said. "We're not going to throw him right in there, and we'll be careful about, I'll have to look about two days in a row. We're just getting him back, and we want to make sure he's where he's supposed to be."
David Robertson has assumed the setup role in Soriano's absence, going 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in 44 appearances and earning an All-Star berth.
Soriano was just 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 16 appearances before going on the DL. He decided to use a translator in his first interview back in the Yankees' clubhouse, saying through bullpen catcher Roman Rodriguez that he is open to whatever Girardi has planned for him moving forward.
"I'm not sure what the manager's going to do about that situation," Soriano said. "I'm happy to come back here, try to help the team, and whatever decision Joe makes, I will be happy with that."
Soriano led the American League with 45 saves for the Rays last season before signing a three-year, $35 million contract with the Yankees in January.