03/13/2013 13:06 EDT | Updated 05/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Blue Jays cut ties with David Cooper: report

David Cooper is no longer is in the picture at first base for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The team reportedly has released the 26-year-old left-handed hitter, who was at least third on the team’s depth chart behind Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion.

A lingering back injury has prevented Cooper from appearing in a spring training game.

In 145 plate appearances last season as a first baseman and designated hitter with Toronto, he posted a .300 batting average with four home runs and a .788 on-base-plus slugging percentage.

The New York Yankees, who will be minus veteran slugger Mark Teixeira at first base for at least the first month of the season, reportedly will take a look at Cooper.

All six of the six-foot, 200-pounder’s major league homers have come against left-handed pitching.

Some would say Cooper has excellent plate discipline, a short compact swing and the ability to drive the ball authoritatively to all fields, while others might say the 2008 first-round draft pick garnered little respect over the past five seasons.

As a 24-year-old, Cooper hit .364, posted a minor league-leading .439 on-base percentage and racked up 51 doubles in triple-A during the 2011 campaign and still managed to drop a notch (from 21st in 2011 to 22nd in 2012) in Baseball America's annual ranking of the Jays' top prospects.

In 2011, Cooper chalked up 67 walks, while striking out just 43 times, but exhibits below average power for a position at which it is required at the major league level.