Yanks sell Wheeler's rights to Golden Eagles

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Yankees have sold the rights to infielder Zelous Wheeler to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League.

The 27-year-old, signed by the Yankees last November, hit .193 with two homers and five RBIs in 57 at-bats with New York as a rookie this year. He batted .296 with nine homers and 40 RBIs at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre.

New York acquired the rights to pitcher Masahiro Tanaka from the Golden Eagles last winter.

The Yankees also selected the contracts of four players from the minor leagues Thursday, protecting them from next month's winter meetings draft: outfielders Tyler Austin and Mason Williams, and right-handers Danny Burawa and Branden Pinder.

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