Garrett Jones said it was hard to say goodbye to his Yankees teammates after being designated for assignment last week.
Fortunately for him, he got the chance to say "hello" again, as the team re-signed him Wednesday.
"Everything worked out. I'm extremely happy to be back," said Jones, 34, who was designated for assignment after the team traded for Dustin Ackley on Friday. Jones cleared waivers and chose free agency.
Ackley was placed on the disabled list Tuesday, paving the way for Jones' return.
During his short free agency, Jones said it was difficult watching the Yankees play.
"I was sad for a while . . . My father-in-law's house is right down the street from U.S. Cellular ," Jones said. "I could see the park out of his window. I had to watch the games, cheer everybody on. It was tough, watching those guys, [wishing] I was in the dugout being able to high-five them and congratulate them."
Jones, who was active for Wednesday night's game against Boston but not in the starting lineup, is hitting .215 with five home runs, a .257 on-base percentage and a .361 slugging percentage in 57 games. He has split most of his time between rightfield and first base.
He said that he was not surprised that he was the player replaced on the roster following the Ackley trade.
"Being a bench guy and not an everyday guy, you know that's always in the back of your head, that they could get rid of you or a move could happen," he said. "When the move was made, I thought that there was a chance that it was me, and it turned out it was me. It's just part of the business really."
"My heart was still here, with all my teammates and the coaching staff and the fans," Jones added.
He came into the season with a career .253/.314/.450 slash line in seven seasons with the Twins, Pirates and Marlins, and had averaged 23 home runs. He had appeared in at least 144 games in each of the last five seasons but has had to adjust to a part-time role with the Yankees.
"It's always a little bit easier to play every day," he said. "It takes a little bit more work, and a different kind of mental attitude . I think I've learned to deal with it pretty well."
Jones said he did not speak with other teams during his free agency (while his agent did), and that when the Yankees offered to re-sign him, "it was hard to say no . . . I had to come back and wanted to contribute and help this team win."