TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Derek Jeter says the New York Yankees have no choice but to move forward now that Alex Rodriguez has accepted his suspension for the 2014 season.
Rodriguez ended his extended and acrimonious fight with Major League Baseball on Friday, withdrawing a pair of lawsuits that were filed in an attempt to overturn a season-long ban for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal — the longest penalty in the sport’s history related to performance-enhancing drugs.
Jeter spoke Monday at the Yankees’ minor league complex. He said he has texted with A-Rod since the lawsuits were dropped.
Rodriguez was given a 211-game ban last year by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig that was reduced to 162 plus the 2014 postseason by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. A-Rod sued MLB and the union in federal court in Manhattan, claiming the arbitration process was flawed. Rodriguez’s lawyers filed notices of dismissal in both cases.
Though A-Rod isn’t nearly the MVP-caliber player that he once was, he’s still an imposing hitter who will be missed in New York’s lineup.
“He’s not here for this season, so we’re going to have to find ways to win with the team that we have,” Jeter said Monday at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “It’s a complicated situation, but it’s pretty much played out. That’s what has happened.
“You’d have to ask him how he feels about it, if he’s glad that it’s over with. It’s a situation that he has to deal with. Now it’s over and it’s done with, and we’ll move on from there. But you’d have to ask him how he feels about that.”
Rodriguez will be 39 when eligible to return in a year. The Yankees owe him $21 million in 2015 and $20 million in each of the final two seasons of a record $275 million, 10-year deal.
NOTES: Jeter, limited to 17 games last season after breaking his ankle during the 2012 AL Championship Series, started his fourth week of on-field work. … RHP Michael Pineda, a fifth-starter candidate sidelined the past two years by a right shoulder injury, is throwing off a mound. “I’m feeling 100 percent right now, and my body is in perfect shape,” said a trimmed down 260-pound Pineda. “Everything is in the past. I’m ready to go.” … C Francisco Cervelli, who broke his right hand April 26, and then was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 5 following MLB’s investigation of the same Florida anti-aging clinic that ensnared Rodriguez, is also doing early work. “Last year was a disaster, and we just take the positives out of everything for being a better person and a better player,” Cervelli said.
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