Yankees

CC Has A-Rod’s Back, Believes Third Baseman Will Return To Field In 2013

Alex Rodriguez (R) of the New York Yankees talks with teammate CC Sabathia. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez (R) of the New York Yankees talks with teammate CC Sabathia. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Spring training is right around the corner, but as Yankees pitchers and catchers get ready to report to camp, much of the focus surrounding the team is on Alex Rodriguez.

With his latest PED-related controversy dominating the headlines, A-Rod’s teammates are naturally being asked to comment on the matter.

Starting pitcher CC Sabathia had his third baseman’s back on Tuesday night at the 33rd annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner.

“I’m going to take (shortstop Derek Jeter’s) stance, and wait until (A-Rod) comments,” Sabathia said. “And just wait and see what happens.’’

Jeter said on Monday that he plans to wait until Rodriguez addresses the issue before offering his own take.

Though Rodriguez’s career is unquestionably on the decline, many feel that the Bronx Bombers could still use his power in the lineup. Sabathia is of that opinion, and he believes that the 14-time All-Star will return to the field in 2013, despite the possibility that he could be sidelined for the duration of the season.

“I would be surprised (if he didn’t return),” Sabathia said. “I know how hard he works and how much he cares about wanting to play and wanting to help the team. So I look for him to do everything he can to get back on the field and try to help us.’’

And forget just this year — Sabathia believes that the three-time American League MVP can help New York in 2014 and beyond.

“Of course, why not?’’ he said. “When healthy, he’s a big part of our team. We want him to be healthy and come back and try to help us win.”

Rodriguez is owed $114 million over the next five years and is in the midst of a 10-year, $275 million contract. The 37-year-old batted .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs in 122 games for New York last season.

Do you believe that A-Rod’s teammates really support him, or are they just masking their frustration with his knack for finding controversy? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…