BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Yankees have released outfielder Matt Diaz, trimming a contender from their spring search for a right-handed bat.
Diaz, 35, hit .200 (6-for-30) with no extra-base hits and two RBIs in 13 spring games for New York.
Following injuries to Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira during the spring, the Yankees have been hunting for outfielders cast off from other camps. They signed both left-handed hitting Brennan Boesch and right-handed hitting Ben Francisco last week.
"We just thought the other guys were a little bit ahead of [Diaz], and [we wanted] to be fair to him and [allow him to] have a chance to catch on somewhere else," manager Joe Girardi said.
A career .291 hitter over 10 big league seasons, Diaz hit .222 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 51 games for the Braves last season.
Diaz entered camp competing directly with veteran Juan Rivera to serve as a starting outfielder or designated-hitter option against left-handed pitching. Because of Teixeira's injury, the Yankees are considering having Rivera play first base instead. But Girardi said that it is too soon to say any decisions have been made.
"Is it clearer?" Girardi said. "Maybe one piece is gone, but it's still going to play out -- probably for the next two weeks."