Yankees release Diaz

BRADENTON, Fla. -- In his last at-bat as a Yankee, Matt Diaz singled Saturday night off Braves right-hander J.R. Graham, whose fastball has been clocked at over 100 MPH.

On Sunday morning, the Yankees sent Diaz on his way, granting the 10-year veteran his release after a disappointing spring in which he hit .200 (6-for-30, all singles). With the acquisitions this week of Ben Francisco and Brennan Boesch, both outfielders, Diaz, an OF-slash-DH, became expendable.

"We just thought the other guys were a little bit ahead of him," Joe Girardi said, "And we wanted to be fair to him and have a chance to catch on somewhere else."

Diaz' lasting legacy as a Yankee will be a memorably grisly story he told the media about having surgery to remove some painful palm frond splinters out of his thumb last year. Ouch!