The Yankees said the third baseman will have surgery on his left hip, an injury that might explain his spectacularly poor performance during the playoffs.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alex Rodriguez will start the season in what’s become a familiar place: the disabled list.

The New York Yankees said Monday the third baseman will have surgery on his left hip, an injury that could sideline him until the All-Star break and might explain his spectacularly poor performance during the playoffs.

“It’s a significant blow,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

A 14-time All-Star and baseball’s priciest player at $275 million, Rodriguez has a torn labrum, bone impingement and a cyst. He will need four to six weeks of physical therapy to strengthen the hip before surgery, and the team anticipates he will be sidelined four to six months after the operation.

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This will be Rodriguez’s sixth trip to the disabled list in six seasons. He had right-hip surgery on March 9, 2009, and returned that May 8.

Rodriguez, who turns 38 in July, complained to manager Joe Girardi of a problem with his right hip the night Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him — and hit a tying ninth-inning home run — against Baltimore during the AL division series in October.

Rodriguez, owed $114 million over the next five years, remained a shell of his former self on the field. He was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others. He batted .120 (3 for 25) in the playoffs, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers.

A pitch from the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez broke A-Rod’s left hand on July 24. He returned Sept. 3 and hit .195 the rest of the regular season.

With shortstop Derek Jeter, who turns 39 in June, coming off surgery to repair a broken ankle, the left side of the Yankees’ infield could be a defensive problem. But Jeter expects to be ready for opening day.

Ruppert elected to baseball Hall

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jacob Ruppert brought Babe Ruth to New York, built Yankee Stadium and transformed the pinstripers into baseball’s most dominant power. He did so much, many people just figured the owner called the Colonel was already enshrined at the Hall of Fame.

“We were surprised to learn he wasn’t,” former Yankees player and executive Bob Watson said.

Watson and a 16-member Hall panel changed that, electing Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O’Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White for their excellence through the first half of the 20th century.

The trio was picked from by the Hall’s pre-integration panel, part of what once was known as the Veterans Committee.


• The Giants and free-agent center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract. Pagan, 31, batted .288 with 56 RBI and 15 triples in his first season with the Giants.

• First baseman James Loney, 28, who hit a combined .249 with six homers and 41 RBI for the Dodgers and Red Sox last season, agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with Tampa Bay.

• Texas agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent reliever Joakim Soria and reached a deal to keep catcher Geovany Soto. Soria, 28, was a two-time All-Star with Kansas City. He is recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery.

• Right-hander Jason Marquis will stay with San Diego after reaching a $3 million, one-year deal with the club.

• Former All-Star Lenny Dykstra was sentenced to 6 ½ months in prison for hiding baseball gloves and other heirlooms from his playing days that were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing, capping a tumultuous year of legal woes.

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