MLB notes: Yankees reach out to Chipper Jones, Derrek Lee and Scott Rolen
By QMI Agency
|The Yankees have reportedly reached out to retired third baseman Chipper Jones about returning to baseball. (REUTERS)
After losing outfielder Curtis Granderson and first baseman Mark Teixeira to injuries during spring training, and with third baseman Alex Rodriguez out with a hip injury, the New York Yankees are desperate for help.
Despite already signing Kevin Youkilis, who can play third and first base, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has reportedly reached out to retired third baseman Chipper Jones, first baseman Derrek Lee and free agent third baseman Scott Rolen about filling the holes in the roster.
“If Chipper wants to come back, I would love to have Chipper,” Cashman told ESPN on Monday of the 40-year-old Jones, who spent most of his 19-year career, all with the Atlanta Braves, at third base.
But Jones, who retired after the 2012 season, has already put any speculation of a return with the Yankees to bed.
“Enough with the rumors! While I am flattered about the speculation of being enticed out of retirement, I'm happy with life as a bad golfer!” Jones posted to Twitter on Monday.
As for Lee, Cashman said: “He is the type of player who is Yankee-like, in terms of capabilities, when he was playing, and makeup for the clubhouse and stuff like that. I just planted a seed – ‘If you have an interest, thinking of playing, let me know.’ “
Lee, 37, last played in 2011, splitting time between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cashman said Lee was “intrigued” by the offer.
Rolen, who turns 38 in April, didn’t seem interested.
As for the outfield, the Yankees signed Ben Francisco to a minor-league contract just three hours after he was released by the Indians on Monday. Francisco played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.
Granderson and Teixeira aren’t expected to recover until May while Rodriguez could be back as early as July.
A-ROD FACES LAWSUIT
Alex Rodriguez faces a legal battle with the man he claims pushed him to use performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, has consulted an attorney about filing a lawsuit against the Yankees star.
“I know there’s a lot of friction. I know that (Sucart’s) name got caught in the crossfire of all the allegations involving all the performance-enhancing drugs,” Sucart’s attorney John Ruiz told the New York Daily News. “I’ve been consulted about it. But obviously because there’s an attorney/client relationship, I can't really divulge details.”
Ruiz declined to discuss the basis for the lawsuit.
Sucart is after $5 million in unspecified damages, according to TheMLBNation.com, which broke the story.
ACEVES ON WBC BRAWL
Boston Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves offered up his side of what escalated a World Baseball Classic brawl between Canada and Mexico last Saturday at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Looking back, the Mexican right-hander claimed he was trying to play peacemaker before being hurled to the dirt.
So, like anyone under siege, Aceves went with his instincts.
“You’re locked in,” he explained to WEEI radio in Boston on Monday. “You’re just trying to defend and knock them out. That’s it. We were trying to (defend) ourselves.”
After Canada’s Jay Johnson landed a few left hooks, Aceves said he was fighting in self-defence against seven members of Team Canada.
“I was just calming down,” Aceves said. “The fighting was with the pitcher and the hitter. So I was saying, ‘Calm down, man.’ And he (Canada’s Tyson Gillies) just grabbed me and threw me on the floor.
“Then when I jumped in to this guy, I had seven guys against me.”
The WBC melee started after Canada’s Rene Tosoni was hit in the back by a pitch from Mexico’s Arnold Leon in retaliation to Team Canada bunting while leading 9-3 in the ninth inning.