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04/17/08 7:48 PM ET

Corey elects free agency

Right-hander not ruling out returning to Sox organization

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Bryan Corey, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week, exercised his right to free agency on Thursday rather than taking an assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Corey pitched for the Red Sox for parts of the last three seasons. The well-respected veteran got off to a bad start to this season, posting a 14.54 ERA over six outings.

There's at least a chance Corey will wind up back in the Boston organization but he's going to explore other options first.

"I don't think he's ruled out signing back with the Red Sox," said Boston manager Terry Francona, who spoke to Corey by phone multiple times the last couple of days. "He certainly wants to look and see what's around, which we [understand]. I talked to him two or three times yesterday. You care about these guys, and at the same time you understand they have families and they have a responsibility and you want to see what's best for them, too. I certainly understand that."

Kyle Snyder, who was designated for assignment a few days before Corey, did opt to remain with the organization and is currently at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.