TAMPA, Fla. -- Russell Branyan thought that a strong spring might have him breaking camp in a Yankees uniform, but the 36-year-old slugger wasn't able to get to the plate for even a single at-bat.
Branyan suffered a herniated disc in his lower back that kept him out for all of the spring, but he re-signed a Minor League deal with the Yankees and will continue to work out in Tampa once the team goes north.
"It's definitely frustrating for me because, as I viewed things, if I came in and had a good camp I could have turned some heads and made a ball team," Branyan said.
"It's been an uphill battle, but things like this happen. It's a new place and you want to feel like you're part of the team, but it makes it tough when you can't get on the field with the guys."
Because of a quirk in the new Basic Agreement, Branyan said that he was released on Friday by the Yankees and then quickly re-signed to a new Minor League deal. The move saved the Yankees from having to pay Branyan a guaranteed sum of money for the first two months of the season.
"They feel like I've got another three or four weeks of rehab, so they've decided to rehab me," Branyan said. "At the end of that rehab, we'll see where we are."
Branyan, the owner of 194 big league homers over 14 seasons with 10 clubs, said he expects to attempt swinging a bat next week.
"I'm feeling good, but it's a slow process," he said.