NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Derrek Lee in pinstripes?
Forget about it.
The 37-year-old has turned down an offer from the Yankees, opting instead to stay retired, according to WFAN/CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports first reported Lee’s decision.
The Yankees need help at one of the corner infield positions with Alex Rodriguez rehabbing from offseason hip surgery and Mark Teixeira sidelined with a wrist injury. Kevin Youkilis was signed to fill the void at third base, but could slot over to first.
General manager Brian Cashman surprised pretty much everyone on Monday when he confirmed the Yankees were looking at retired stars Lee and Chipper Jones. New York also has an interest in Scott Rolen, 37, who declined the Cincinnati Reds’ offer to attend spring training last month.
“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,” Cashman said of Lee. “I just planted a seed — ‘If you have an interest, thinking of playing, let me know.’”
He did, and it was a no.
Lee last played in the big leagues in 2011, playing 85 games for the Orioles and 28 games for the Pirates. The 2005 National League batting champion hit .267 that season with 19 home runs and 59 RBIs.
Jones retired in 2012 after 19 seasons spent entirely with the Atlanta Braves. The 40-year-old Mets killer — who Cashman would “love to have” in the Bronx — was quick to shut down any talk of returning to the hot corner.
“Enough with the rumors!” Jones tweeted Monday. “While I am flattered about the speculation of being enticed out of retirement, I’m happy with life as a bad golfer!”
Admit it — you’re a little disappointed. Yankees fans, sound off in the comments…