The Yankees optioned outfielder Clint Frazier to the minors to make room for Edwin Encarnacion.
Frazier, 24, was slashing .283/.330/.513 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs, taking on a starting role after the Yankees dealt with injuries to Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks in the first month of the season.
"It's a tough pill to swallow," Frazier told reporters after Sunday's game. "It's never fun, especially with how much I've felt like I've felt like I've contributed to this team."
Encarnacion will join the Yankees on Monday after they acquired him in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
Frazier has played in 107 MLB games over the past three years, dealing with a concussion for most of the 2018 season. But the addition of Encarnacion, combined with the future returns of Stanton and Judge, spell less playing time for Frazier.
Stanton is set to be activated off the injured list on Tuesday and Judge will return from the IL shortly thereafter. Combined with Hicks and Brett Gardner, as well as Encarnacion being a DH, Frazier wouldn't get consistent at-bats unless he was with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit .311/.389/.574 with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs in 48 games last year.
Because of the lack of space on the 25-man roster, there is a chance the Yankees could deal Frazier to acquire a starting pitcher with the trade deadline a month and a half away, however sources told SNY's Andy Martino that the Yankees won't rush into trading Frazier.
Talking about the possibility of him being traded by the Yankees, he said, "I got traded once. Who knows? I can't control that. I just try to play as good as I can to put myself in a good position."
Frazier said he was "pretty surprised" at learning of his demotion, and it was something manager Aaron Boone found "obviously tough" to deliver.
"He's played a big role on a winning team, and that doesn't necessarily stop now," Boone said. "This is where we're at from a roster situation."
Frazier said Boone told him that "this is the reality of things."
His response: "Guess I'm facing reality right now."