Yankees release IF Henson

Updated: February 5, 2004, 3:28 PM ET

NEW YORK - Drew Henson's fledging baseball career officially is over.

The New York Yankees on Thursday concluded an agreement to release Henson from his 2001 contract so that the former University of Michigan quarterback can return to football.

A bust in the minor leagues after his highly publicized signing with the Yankees, Henson agreed to give the remaining $12 million of his contract.

"On behalf of the entire organization we wish Drew the best of luck with his career in the NFL," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

Henson is property of the NFL's Houston Texans, who took a chance by selecting him in the sixth round of the 2003 draft.

Henson has not played competitive football since 2000, his junior year at Michigan. That season, he helped the Wolverines to a 9-3 record and a Citrus Bowl appearance, throwing 18 touchdown passes and four interceptions before pursuing baseball.

Although many NFL scouts considered Henson worthy of the top overall pick in the 2002 draft, Henson chose baseball, signing a six-year, $17 million contract with the Yankees.

He never panned out as a third baseman, hitting .248 with 67 home runs and 274 RBIs in 501 minor league games. He struck out 556 times in 1,856 at-bats and committed 63 errors in his final two seasons.

Henson could be traded by the Texans or back up David Carr. If he is not dealt by April 24, Henson re-enters the draft.

In other news, the Yankees announced that third baseman Aaron Boone, who could be out for the season, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday. The surgery will be performed in California by Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Boone injured his knee while playing basketball last month. While the Yankees have not released the specfics of the injury, sources told Sports Illustrated that Boone suffered a torn ACL.

The Yankees also sold the contract of infielder Fernando Seguignol to the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan's Pacific League. Seguignol was designated for assignment on January 12 to make room for free agent infielder Tony Clark.

Seguignol batted .143 with a walk in five games for the Yankees last season. He spent most of 2003 with Class AAA Columbus and led the International League with a .341 batting average and 28 home runs.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index