Baseball: A-Rod vows to work during hard road back
MIAMI — Alex Rodriguez went to see doctors with hopes of finding something wrong. When they actually located a problem, only then did he start feeling a bit better.
The New York Yankees’ third baseman said Saturday that plans set for him to have surgery on his left hip in mid-January, and that he’s eager to embrace the challenge of coming back from both the operation and an unbelievably abysmal finish to last season.
It’s expected that Rodriguez, who will be making his sixth trip to the disabled list in six seasons, could be sidelined until the All-Star break.
“I’m not concerned,” Rodriguez said. “I’m actually, in many ways, relieved that there’s something tangible that we can go fix.”
Rodriguez had surgery on his right hip in 2009, missed about the first month of the season and still finished with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs — plus helped the Yankees win the World Series. This surgery is more complex, since it’ll repair not only a torn labrum but also a bone impingement and a cyst. The surgery is next month because it was determined he needed some time to strengthen the hip first.
“I am fully committed to a very hard road back,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve done it before in ‘09 and it was a great result, both on a personal level and on a team level, more importantly. I take it as a great challenge and I’m excited for the challenge.”
Rodriguez is a 14-time All-Star and baseball’s priciest player, with his current deal being worth $275 million.
He batted .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs in last season’s playoffs, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers. He was benched and replaced by a pinch hitter in key spotsl, too.
Free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to close a deal Saturday night worth $147 million over six years, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday night because there was no completed contract.
Greinke is the top arm on the open market, and has attracted interest from the Dodgers, Texas and the Los Angeles Angels. The 29-year-old righty started last season with Milwaukee and was later traded to the Angels, going a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA.
The 2009 AL Cy Young winner with Kansas City would be the latest high-priced player to be acquired by the Dodgers. They traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, shortstop Hanley Ramirez, pitcher Josh Beckett and outfielder Carl Crawford late last season.
With the Dodgers, Greinke would pair with 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw for a formidable top of the rotation. The Dodgers, infused with money after the sale this year to an ownership group that includes Magic Johnson, went 86-76 last season and finished eight games behind eventual World Series champion San Francisco in the NL West.
Greinke is 91-78 with a 3.77 ERA in nine seasons with the Brewers, Dodgers and Angels.
Greinke and slugger Josh Hamilton were the top two free-agent targets at the baseball winter meetings this week. Texas was interested in re-signing Hamilton, and he also drew attention from Seattle.
Several potential trades and signings throughout the majors were thought to be on hold while Greinke and Hamilton made their decisions.