Retired Atlanta Braves star Chipper Jones quickly rejected feelers by the Yankees, who are desperate for some healthy corner infielders.
VIERA, Fla. — Chipper Jones putting on pinstripes?
The banged-up New York Yankees would love to have him. General manager Brian Cashman even said so Monday, expressing interest in the retired Atlanta Braves star.
“He’d be perfect,” Cashman said at the Yankees’ spring camp in Tampa. “I’d take Larry in a heartbeat. I think everybody would.”
The eight-time All-Star third baseman — better known by his nickname than his actual first name — quickly ended such talk.
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“Enough with the rumors!” Jones tweeted. “While I am flattered about the speculation of being enticed out of retirement, I’m happy with life as a bad golfer!”
Pretty much what everyone figured.
“I can imagine a lot of things in baseball,” Braves coach and former third baseman Terry Pendleton said, “but Chipper playing for the Yankees isn’t one of them.
“He’s a man of his word and he says he’s done. But it might help the Yankees with their attendance. I think a lot of Mets fans would come over to Yankee Stadium to boo him.”
Jones, who is six weeks short of his 41st birthday, bowed out last fall after playing all 19 seasons in Atlanta, hitting .303 with 468 home runs.
The Yankees are desperate for help. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez is sidelined until July or longer after hip surgery and first baseman Mark Teixeira is out until May because of a strained tendon in his right wrist.
Newcomer Kevin Youkilis can play either corner infield spot, but not at the same time. He made his first spring-training start at first base on Monday.
A more realistic option is 37-year-old Derrek Lee, who hasn’t played since 2011, when he hit .267 with 19 homers and 59 runs batted in for Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Cashman talked to Lee and the first baseman appeared to be intrigued.
“It’s an out-of-the-box thought,” Cashman said. “I just know that he was a Yankee-type of player.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” Cashman said.
Exactly, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
“Never any harm in asking Chipper,” he said. “But, uh, no.”
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