The Captain says Alex Rodriguez doesn’t look like a player who’s unsure if he can come back.
Derek Jeter, also rehabbing in Tampa, said Thursday that Rodriguez, who has missed the first three months of the season due to hip surgery in January, looks like he can still be a contributing player to the Yankees.
“Alex works extremely hard,” said Jeter, who is in Tampa to rehab the left ankle he broke during the 2012 playoffs. “He is working hard now to get back.”
Meanwhile, a Yankee source and a Rodriguez spokesperson both shot down multiple reports that A-Rod had told the Yankees — including GM Brian Cashman and team president Randy Levine on a call Wednesday — that he didn’t think he could come back this year.
A Yankee source told the Daily News the reports are “fantasy.”
The News reported on Thursday that sources close to the ongoing drama surrounding the embattled third baseman believe Rodriguez has fast-forwarded his return to the team so he can then claim he is physically unable to perform and announce his retirement.
Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News
While Derek Jeter speaks on his way out of the Tampa complex, Alex Rodriguez blows off reporters after continuing his rehabilitation in Tampa on Thursday.
That way, he could collect the full amount of his salary — $ 114 million over the next five years — even if he is suspended by commissioner Bud Selig’s office because of his alleged ties to Biogenesis, the South Florida clinic that Major League Baseball investigators believe supplied banned drugs to Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun and approximately 20 other players.
But Jeter, from what he has seen of Rodriguez in Tampa, doesn’t think A-Rod looks like he is ready to call it quits.
“I don’t see why he would be looking to retire in terms of how he’s playing,” Jeter said.
While Jeter spoke on his way out of the Tampa complex, Rodriguez blew off reporters after continuing his rehabilitation in Tampa on Thursday. The workout was moved to George M. Steinbrenner Field because of wet conditions at the Yankees’ minor league complex.
The embattled star continued the activities at the core of his recent workout regimen, including toss and tee drills, fielding ground balls and running and hitting in game-simulation at-bats.
The News reported earlier this week that Rodriguez has been given medical clearance to begin playing in rehab games on Monday, as long as the Yankees believe he is ready. A-Rod confirmed The News’ report on Tuesday by tweeting that Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed his hip surgery, had given him the green light to play games again.