SAN DIEGO (CBSNewYork/AP) — Alex Rodriguez isn’t yet at the weight the New York Yankees want him to be at when he reports to spring training in two months.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Matthew Krause, the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator, visited A-Rod on Wednesday in Miami.
“Like all our players, you have a report weight we’re hopeful that they hit,” Cashman said. “He’s approaching that. He’s not at that spring-training weight that we desire just yet. But there was progress, and he continues to tweak — Matt continues to tweak his conditioning program.”
Rodriguez is coming off a season-long suspension for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract. The third baseman turns 40 in July.
“Alex texted me yesterday,” Cashman said. “I said all things good with you, and he said, ‘Yup.'”
Krause was hired by the Yankees a year ago, and Cashman said he’s starting to build a relationship with the three-time AL MVP.
“He assessed him maybe a month ago, maybe a little bit longer, and he assessed him now,” Cashman said. “He’s working hard. Obviously, he’s continuing to get ready for spring training. He’s moving in the right direction.”
On Tuesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told WFAN radio that it would be important to get A-Rod his at-bats before the season.
“I think his at-bats are going to be real important,” Girardi said. “We’re going to have to find a way to get him at-bats. There will be some DH days in spring training where maybe we can give him some more at-bats. It might come down to, you go play in a minor league game where you can get eight, nine at-bats in a game if you want, that sort of thing. So I think that’s going to be real important for him. And we’re just going to have to watch and make sure that we keep him healthy in spring training. But he’s gotta play and he’s gotta get that timing back.”
Cashman also said the Yankees checked in on Jimmy Rollins with Philadelphia and Dee Gordon with the Los Angeles Dodgers but didn’t find a match. He called the acquisition of Didi Gregorius from Arizona “better for us in the long term regardless.”
“We have an under-control shortstop,” he said. “It probably worked out for everybody.”
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