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Yankees designate Wells for assignment

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Updated: 1/10 5:47 pm

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees designated outfielder Vernon Wells for assignment on Friday.

The 35-year-old Wells hit .233 with 11 homers and 50 RBI in his lone season with the Yankees, who acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim near the end of spring training last March.

"Thank you Yankees for opportunity to be part of such a storied franchise," Wells said on his Twitter account Friday.

The Yankees needed to make a move to clear space on their 40-man roster for lefty reliever Matt Thornton, who officially signed with the team Friday. Wells became expendable when New York inked free agent outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran last month.

Thornton, who split last season between the Chicago White Sox and the defending world champion Boston Red Sox, posted an 0-4 record with a 3.74 earned run average over 60 appearances. He was left off the Red Sox' postseason roster during this past fall's World Series run and had his option declined by the club last month.

Over 10 major league seasons with Seattle, Chicago and Boston, Thornton has compiled a 32-42 record with a 3.53 ERA and 23 saves over 606 career games. The 37-year-old's best season came with the White Sox in 2008, when he went 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA. He was also named to the American League All-Star team in 2010.

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