Baseball Notes | Yanks: A-Rod pact won't be extended

Posted: March 22, 2007

Baseball Notable

Brian Cashman said he has no plans to discuss contract extensions with any New York Yankees players any time soon. That includes third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt out after this season.

"We're not talking extensions with anybody," the general manager said yesterday in an interview with Newsday.

In Cashman's view, Rodriguez already has a contract that continues through the 2010 season.

"He's got a significant contract," Cashman said. "He negotiated an opt-out in that contract, and he has the right to do that if he chooses. We hope he doesn't. We hope he stays. He has a decision at the end of the year, not the Yankees."

Rodriguez is due $27 million in each of the next four seasons, with the Texas Rangers picking up $28.4 million of that ($7.1 million this season, $8.1 million in 2008, $7.1 million in 2009 and $6.1 million in 2010). He also is owed a significant amount of deferred money, mainly by the Rangers, but not until after his current contract expires.

Last week, Rodriguez said on WFAN Radio: "The last thing I'm going to do is to run away from New York, say New York is too tough. I have an option at the end of the year, and we'll see what happens after that. If I go out and have four years in New York, win two MVPs and one World Series, I think that's a pretty good job."

The Yankees have little motivation to tear up Rodriguez's contract, given that the Rangers are paying so much of it.

Also, Melanie Lidle, widow of the late pitcher Cory Lidle, may throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the team's April 2 season opener against Tampa Bay.

Lidle was killed Oct. 11 when his plane crashed into a Manhattan high-rise. The Phillies had traded him to the Yankees on July 31.

Braves. A pain-free round of batting practice may be enough to get Chipper Jones back in Atlanta's lineup today.

Braves manager Bobby Cox has been wary of letting Jones return too soon. The third baseman felt soreness in his right side during batting practice Friday.

Jones, who turns 35 next month, remains a crucial part of the lineup. He hit .324 with 26 home runs and 86 RBIs in 110 games last season.

Red Sox. This was what Boston hoped for when the team invested $103 million in Daisuke Matsuzaka.

In the best outing by a Boston pitcher this spring, Matsuzaka dominated - one run, one single, one walk and one standing ovation. In 52/3 innings, he struck out seven and the Red Sox beat Pittsburgh, 7-3.

Matsuzaka twice fanned the Pirates' best hitter, Jason Bay, on a total of seven pitches and went to three-ball counts on only four of his 20 batters.

Diamondbacks. Arizona outfielder Carlos Quentin has a small tear in the labrum (cartilage) in his left shoulder and might open the season on the disabled list.

Dodgers. The team won't sell the name of Dodger Stadium because it would compromise one of the most well-known brands in major-league baseball, club president Jamie McCourt said.

"I can't even imagine it," McCourt, 53, told Bloomberg News. "I don't think you will ever see Dodger Stadium have any other name but Dodger Stadium."

Half of baseball's 30 teams play in stadiums with naming-rights agreements.

Reds. Righthander Paul Wilson, 34, was released by Cincinnati, another setback as he tries to come back from shoulder surgery. The No. 1 pick by the New York Mets in the 1994 amateur draft, Wilson has gone 40-58 with a 4.86 ERA in his major-league career.

- Inquirer wire services

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