ST. PETERSBURG -- The confrontation between Jorge Posada and general manager Brian Cashman grew so heated on Saturday that the switch-hitter asked off the roster, according to the New York Daily News.
The newspaper, citing team sources, reported on its website Monday that Posada was so frustrated by his situation that he told Cashman and manager Joe Girardi that he wanted off the Yankees.
"It was just something said in the heat of anger and frustration," a source close to Posada told the newspaper. "He didn't want out and doesn't want out. He was just frustrated and said a lot of things."
Cashman was tight-lipped when he addressed reporters during Saturday's game, saying that there was no injury keeping Posada out of the lineup. Posada would later claim that he had been bothered by back stiffness.
In a telling quote, however, Cashman was asked what the episode meant for Posada's future, and he replied at the time, "I don't know."
Posada is in the final year of a four-year contract that will pay him a total of $13.1 million this year. He has said that he has been feeling "a little bit" disrespected by the organization since November, when Cashman told Posada that the Yankees no longer wanted him to be a catcher.
The Posada episode started to be resolved on Sunday, when Posada apologized to Girardi and Cashman.
"I had a bad day," Posada said on Sunday. "Reflecting on it, everything, all the frustration, just came out. I'm trying to move on."
Posada did not speak to reporters before Monday's game against the Rays. Cashman sent word via the team's public-relations department that he also would not be returning calls.
Tightness disrupts Soriano's bullpen session
ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees right-hander Rafael Soriano continues to feel soreness in his pitching elbow and will be examined on Tuesday in New York.
Soriano had to cut short a bullpen session on Monday at Tropicana Field and will be evaluated by team physician Christopher Ahmad.
"We'll see what the doctor says," Soriano said.
Soriano last pitched on Friday against the Red Sox but has been experiencing discomfort since making back-to-back appearances on April 30 and May 1 against the Blue Jays. An MRI exam taken on Wednesday showed only mild inflammation.
In an unusual twist, Soriano said that he had received advice on Monday from Yankees executive vice president Felix Lopez, who told the right-hander he should think about taking a week or more off from pitching.
"He said, 'Let's see what happens -- you've got to take one week, 10 days, then come back and be 100 percent,'" Soriano said. "I think it'd be great. I've got to wait to see what the doctor says."
Soriano opined that the Yankees' relievers should not be blamed for the team's six-game losing streak.
"To me, I don't think the bullpen [is] the problem right now," Soriano said. "I think it [is] the hitters. [Those] things happen sometimes."
Soriano also said that his absence did not seem to have affected the team's fortunes.
"In these situations, how the team lost, that would not be the situation when I'm supposed to be in the game -- the eighth," Soriano said. "Everybody sees we've been losing by two, three runs. I don't think it would be the situation that I'd be in the game."
The Yankees had not been expecting to have Soriano available until Wednesday in Baltimore at the earliest; this latest issue makes a trip to the disabled list more likely.
With Soriano in limbo, the Yankees have continued to carry a 13th pitcher. They recalled right-hander Hector Noesi from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday.
Soriano landed a three-year, $35 million contract to serve as Mariano Rivera's setup man after leading the American League with 45 saves last season for the Rays.
"I had good moments here," Soriano said before the Yankees' 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. "I'll be happy to see a lot of good friends I have."
Cano hopes to play through knee bruise
ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was hobbled in the fourth inning of Monday's 6-5 loss to the Rays after fouling a ball off his left knee.
Cano was batting against the Rays' David Price and stayed in the game, finishing 2-for-4.
"It hurts when you start running, but after you keep running, you feel better for a little bit," said Cano, who winced when he pointed to the knee. "Hopefully, I'll be all right tomorrow."
Cano entered play on Monday in a 4-for-25 skid but has now hit safely in 27 of his last 33 contests.
Girardi pressing Yanks to tighten defense
ST. PETERSBURG -- The scouting reports on the Yankees' sloppy glovework of late no doubt made their way across to the Rays' clubhouse.
Evan Longoria opened the bottom of the second inning on Monday night with a grounder to third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who threw high to first baseman Mark Teixeira, taking his sixth error of the season. New York had made 13 errors in 10 games entering play on Monday.
"We've almost made an error per game here," said Alex Rodriguez, who got a half-day as designated hitter on Monday after committing a Bill Buckner-esque error on Sunday.
"We've hurt ourselves over and over again with the glove. [Sunday] was an example of me not making a routine play, trying to be a little overambitious."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has already addressed his team and demanded that it clean up the defensive work, though he is more willing to offer a pass for physical errors like A-Rod's on Sunday, or the passed ball charged to catcher Russell Martin that led to a Boston run.
"The way you clean them up is you keep working at it," Girardi said. "It's part of the game. We've seen this club play defense at an extremely high level. It's the same defense. Sometimes you just go through those things and you have to keep working at it.
"You see our guys out every day taking ground balls. You see catchers out early. You see infielders out early. You see outfielders doing their work every day. You just have to keep at it."