Denorfia opts out, Yanks release outfielder

Denorfia opts out, Yanks release outfielder

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees released outfielder Chris Denorfia on Sunday after he opted out of his Minor League contract.

New York signed the 35-year-old Denorfia on March 2, adding a right-handed-hitting option to the outfield mix in the event of an injury.

Jacoby Ellsbury is set to return to the Yankees' lineup on Sunday, while Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks are all expected to be healthy for the April 4 season opener.

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The Yankees sent Denorfia to Minor League camp on Saturday. He would have earned $1 million if he had made the big league roster.

A 10-year veteran who has played with the Reds, A's, Padres, Mariners and Cubs, Denorfia hit .200 (5-for-25) with one home run this spring. He is a career .272 hitter.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.