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Yankees Release First Baseman Chris Gittens

The New York Yankees released first baseman Chris Gittens, freeing a space on the 40-man roster. Gittens reportedly intends to play in Japan next season

The Yankees released first baseman Chris Gittens on Monday night, per New York's transactions page.

Gittens made his MLB debut this summer, earning a trip to the Bronx after seven seasons in the minor leagues. 

The slugger—known for prodigious blasts and neck-turning exit velocities—struggled to find results during his brief stint in pinstripes, though. He hit .111 with one home run and 13 strikeouts over 16 games.

The move to part ways with Gittens frees a spot on the 40-man roster, but it sounds like the decision wasn't designed to swiftly open up some space for another player. According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, Gittens intends to play in Japan in 2022.

Even if his first season in the big leagues lasted only a few weeks, Gittens still made a lasting impression, checking off some career milestones along the way. His first career home run was unforgettable, a 439-foot blast off Blue Jays left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Gittens' departure doesn't have much of an impact on New York's future at first base. Sure, there was a chance the slugger could earn some playing time down the road, but he profiled to stick around in Triple-A until injuries presented themselves at the big-league level.

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Plus, with Anthony Rizzo still available in free agency and Oakland's Matt Olson on the trading block, there are other first basemen above Gittens on the totem pole, not to mention Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu.

New York has been quiet recently while the rest of the league has erupted in a frenzy of moves in free agency. The only other transaction the Yankees have made in the last few days is signing veteran infielder José Peraza to a minor league deal.

Gittens isn't the first player New York has parted ways with this offseason either. The Yankees traded Tyler Wade and released Clint Frazier and Rougned Odor this month. Earlier in the offseason, they lost Andrew Velazquez, Tim Locastro and Greg Allen to waivers. 

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