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TAMPA, Fla. – Shortstop Derek Jeter’s retirement announcement will soon seem a lot more real for New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

The 39-year-old team captain said last week in a statement this will be his final season, and he planned to discuss his decision during a news conference Wednesday, when New York’s position players report for spring training.

Injuries limited Jeter to 17 games last season and his ability to be an everyday player is a frequent topic inside and outside the organization.

Former Mariner Brendan Ryan figures to back up Jeter at shortstop most of the time and expects many fans won’t be pleased on days he is in the starting lineup.

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“Embrace the boos,” Ryan said of his mindset.

Ryan was traded by the Mariners to the Yankees on Sept. 10. He signed as a free agent with New York on Dec. 2.

Darvish jokes about Tanaka

SURPRISE, Ariz. – If Yu Darvish is feeling pressure after leading the majors in strikeouts last season, it isn’t showing.

The Texas Rangers’ ace was in a joking mood at spring training, saying the Yankees might have paid too much for fellow Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka by giving him a seven-year, $155 million contract on top of a $20 million posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Darvish has a six-year, $56 million deal signed before the 2012 season after the Rangers paid $51.7 million to Hokkaido for the right to negotiate with him.

“I don’t know the details of the posting system, but I think the Yankees gave him a little bit too much,” Darvish said with a chuckle through his interpreter. Even before the session was done, the remark was all over social media and the Rangers released a statement to make sure everyone knew Darvish was kidding.

“I am sorry if anyone took my comment seriously about Masahiro Tanaka at the press conference,” Darvish said in the statement. “I assumed by the reaction in the room that everyone knew I was joking.”


• Pitcher Justin Masterson, 28, and the Cleveland Indians agreed to a one-year contract worth $9,762,500 and avoided a salary-arbitration hearing.

Right-hander Masterson went 14-10 with a 3.45 earned-run average last year.

• Superstar outfielder Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels was greeted by about 200 fans in the baggage-claim area of the Phoenix airport Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I shouldn’t have tweeted that I was flying in,” he said. “It was crazy.”

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