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Yankees clear room for Clemens on roster

NEW YORK -- Needing to make room on the roster for Roger
Clemens, the New York Yankees optioned reliever Chris Britton to
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.

Britton was recalled June 1 and was 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three
appearances covering five innings for the Yankees this year. His
demotion kept left-hander Sean Henn on the big league roster.

"That was a tough decision," manager Joe Torre said. "We just
felt Sean Henn seems to be improving. He's probably closer to the
long man that we want."

Clemens started Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, making
his long-awaited 2007 major league debut after three tuneups in the
minors. His return to the Yankees originally was scheduled for last
Monday at the Chicago White Sox, but was pushed back because of an
ailing groin.

In his latest comeback, the 44-year-old Clemens was pitching in
pinstripes for the first time since 2003. He spent the past three
seasons with his hometown Houston Astros.

The Rocket agreed May 6 to a one-year contract worth $28,000,022
-- the last two digits matching his uniform number. He began earning
his salary Saturday and will get $17,442,637 this season -- but he
also will cost the Yankees $6,977,054 in luxury tax, making the
total $24,419,691.

The Yankees purchased Clemens' contract from Scranton. To make
room for him on the 40-man roster, the team transferred rookie
right-hander Phil Hughes (strained left hamstring) from the 15-day
disabled list to the 60-day DL.