The New York Yankees on Sunday released infielder Todd Zeile, a veteran of 10 major league teams.
With the acquisition of third baseman Aaron Boone last month and the return of first baseman Nick Johnson from the disabled list, Zeile's role with the Yankees diminished.
The Yankees signed Zeile as a free agent with the intention of using him as a righthanded hitting complement to Robin Ventura at third base. Zeile also was being used at first base as a backup to Jason Giambi when Johnson was sidelined for two months with a broken hand.
But the Yankees acquired the younger Boone and traded Ventura last month, placing less of a need for the 38-year-old Zeile, who had just two at-bats in New York's last seven games.
"It's a tough day," said Yanks manager Joe Torre, who always has been a big supporter of Zeile. "I convinced him to come here in December because I thought it would be a good situation for him. But once we got Boone, who is an everyday guy, Zeile wasn't going to get his once or twice a week at third, and first base was out for him when Nick came back."
Zeile hit just .210 with six homers and 23 RBI in 186 at-bats for the Yankees.
"I wanted to come to an organization with the best chance to win," said Zeile. "The sacrifice I was going to make was limited playing time. I thought it would be worth the sacrifice."
Zeile spent last season with the Colorado Rockies and batted .273 with 18 homers and 87 RBI. He collected his 1,000th career RBI during the 2002 campaign.
But the 15-year veteran is best known for holding the major league record of homering for 10 different teams. He also holds the record for most home runs (239) by a player whose name begins with the letter 'Z.'
During his major league career, Zeile has compiled 1,056 RBI while playing for St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Florida, Texas, the New York Mets, Rockies and Yankees.
The Yankees recalled reliever Jorge DiPaula from Class AAA Columbus of the International League to replace Zeile