Team Wants Disgraced Slugger Nowhere Near Spring Training When He Speaks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees are ready to give disgraced slugger Alex Rodriguez the run of the big ballpark in the Bronx for his “I’m sorry” press conference to the world.

According to the Daily News, the Bombers are worried about a potential A-Rod mea culpa in Tampa, Fla., that would almost certainly put a black cloud over spring training.

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Rodriguez was advised of the offer during his meeting with general partner Hal Steinbrenner, general manager Brian Cashman and other top Yankees brass at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, the newspaper reported.

“Alex initiated the meeting and apologized to the organization for his actions over the past several years,” the team said in a press release after the meeting. “There was an honest and frank discussion on all of the issues. As far as the Yankees are concerned, the next step is to play baseball in spring training.”

Rodriguez did not immediately respond to the offer, but it stands to reason that he’ll accept the Yankees’ terms after reportedly “apologizing profusely” to the team for the actions that resulted in him being suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy.

A-Rod’s teammates have been generally supportive since he was reinstated by the league, professing to be there for the soon-to-be 40-year-old three-time AL MVP.

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“I don’t know how the other guys feel, but, for me, he doesn’t need to apologize. He didn’t do anything to me,” reliever Dellin Betances said earlier this week. “I’m just ready to play with him and see him help us win and contribute in any way he can.”

Catcher Brian McCann, who is coming off a subpar first season with the Yankees after signing a monster free agent contract, said he can’t wait to pick Rodriguez’s brain.

“I’ll get to talk to one of the better players to ever play the game,” McCann told the New York Post. “I’m excited to meet him and get to know him.”

Owed more than $60 million by the Yankees over the next three seasons, Rodriguez sits just six home runs shy of Willie Mays (660) for fourth on the all-time list, and has said his goal is to surpass leader Barry Bonds, who has 762.

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Cashman told WFAN’s Mike Francesa earlier this offseason that A-Rod’s days as a full-time player are over. With Chase Headley signed to a four-year deal to play third base, Rodriguez will likely spend most of his time as the team’s designated hitter.