Yankees designate Alfonso Soriano for assignment

MINNEAPOLIS - (AP) -- The New York Yankees' reunion with Alfonso Soriano is likely over after the team designated the struggling outfielder for assignment on Sunday.

Soriano returned to New York midway through last season and sparked the offense with 17 home runs in 58 games.

But Soriano hit just .221 this season with six homers and 23 RBIs in 67 games. He has been splitting time in right field with Ichiro Suzuki since Carlos Beltran was injured but has mostly played sparingly in a crowded outfield. Soriano has not homered since May 17 and has struck out 71 times.

In the final year of an eight-year, $136 million deal he signed with the Chicago Cubs, the 38-year-old Soriano will likely clear waivers and choose to become a free agent.

The Yankees recalled pitcher Bruce Billings from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Billings pitched in one game for New York this season, allowing four runs in four innings on April 25 against the Los Angeles Angels.

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