Yanks Lose Rifkin in Rule V

<b>ANAHEIM, Calif.</b> – The Yankees diverted their attention from Carlos Beltran just long enough for MLB's Rule V Draft on Monday. The Bombers lost one player and gained one, although neither transaction should impact the upcoming season.

The Seattle Mariners selected first baseman Aaron Rifkin from the Yankees' Triple-A Trenton Thunder roster, assigning the 25-year-old to the Tacoma Rainiers.

Rifkin had issued some not-so-kind statements toward the Yankees organization last season, when he hit .252 with 23 homers and 82 RBI for Trenton.

Despite a sweet left-handed swing that appeared tailor-made for Yankee Stadium's short porch, the former Cal-State Fullerton star was never able to make enough contact – 118 strikeouts in 2004 – to progress past the Double-A level in the Yankees system.

In the Triple-A phase, the Yankees selected right-hander Hairo Solis from the Norwich Navigators in the San Francisco Giants system.

A 20-year-old reliever from the Dominican Republic, Solis was 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 22 appearances for the Arizona Giants of the Arizona League this season. In 27.2 innings, Solis posted a solid strikeouts-to-walk ratio of 42 to nine.

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