MINNEAPOLIS -- The New York Yankees have cut ties with Alfonso Soriano and now have 10 days to trade, release or waive him.
New York made room for right-handed pitcher Bruce Billings by designating Soriano for assignment on Sunday, manager Joe Girardi announced.
"We designated Soriano, which is extremely difficult because he's been a great Yankee and been a great player," Girardi said. "We felt we needed some more pitching today, so we called up Billings. Bullpen has been extremely taxed."
Soriano said the decision didn't come as a surprise.
"It was to be expected," Soriano told ESPNdeportes.com. "I had already talked to my lawyer about the situation I was going through, and how I was being used in the game, and how I didn't feel comfortable. This decision is a favorable one for both, me and the team."
Yankees relievers have logged 8 2/3 innings in the previous two games against Minnesota at Target Field. The 28-year-old Billings will replace Soriano, 38, who has hit just .221 in 67 games with the Yankees this season.
With Brett Gardner resting, Soriano was given a rare start in the Yankees' 2-1 loss to the Twins on Saturday. Soriano went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and left three runners on base.
New York re-acquired Soriano, who is hitting .204 against right-handed pitchers this season, from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline last season and he hit 17 home runs and had 50 RBIs in 58 games. Soriano has previously indicated that he could retire after this season, particularly if he had a bad year.
Still in the final year of his eight-year, $138 million contract, Soriano gave up his right field duties to Ichiro Suzuki as he struggled at the plate. The Cubs are paying $13 million of Soriano's $18 million salary this season. New York still owes him the remaining $5 million.
"[Soriano's] struggles against right-handers have been pretty evident," Girardi said. "Defensively, Ichiro is better. It's kind of a catch-22."
Soriano said he would wait to make a decision on his future.
"Right now I haven't made any decision," Soriano told ESPNdeportes.com. "I am going to travel to go spend time with my family, and thereafter I have a week to decide what I want to do. I am calm, and I believe that it was a good decision by the team. I'm glad that now that I have been released I will have the opportunity to decide what I want to do next, and the team can go ahead and find someone to do the job I was unable to do."
ESPNdeportes.com's Marly Rivera contributed to this report.