Vernon Wells and Centralia's Lyle Overbay joined the injury-weakened New York Yankees on Tuesday.

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TAMPA, Fla. — Inside the New York Yankees’ clubhouse here Tuesday afternoon, parallel universes swirled about one another.

While the injured stars who have helped the Yankees make the playoffs the last three years tended to their wounds, the new veterans who were brought in at the last moment to replace them embraced one another.

There was Derek Jeter heading to the trainer’s room to get treatment for his injured ankle, and Curtis Granderson flashing a splint on his broken right arm. There was Mark Teixeira, wearing a wrap on his injured wrist, walking into the conditioning room, passing Lyle Overbay as he greeted Vernon Wells with a hug.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Wells and Overbay, teammates on the 2006 Toronto Blue Jays, were members of different American League teams. Weakened by injuries this spring, the Yankees brought them in to help keep the team afloat as they wait on veteran players, including former Mariner Alex Rodriguez, to return.

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Wells, who is expected to be the opening-day left fielder, entered the clubhouse after his trade from the Los Angeles Angels was finalized. He was acquired for minor-league outfielder Exicardo Cayones and minor-league left-handed pitcher Kramer Sneed. Most important in the transaction, though, was that the Angels provided approximately $29 million to help cover the $42 million Wells is owed over the next two years.

About two hours after Wells arrived, in came Overbay, the latest castoff to be scooped up as the Yankees scramble to field a competitive team.

Overbay, who is from Centralia, was released by the Boston Red Sox in the morning, and by afternoon he was driving up from Fort Myers, clean-shaven because he was joining the Yankees.

“It’s kind of like a three-day tryout,” Overbay said. “It’s all new to me.”

Overbay, 36, has a provision in his minor-league contract to opt out Friday. It is quite possible, though, he will make the 25-man roster. He could be the left-handed complement to Juan Rivera at first base.

Overbay has a .270 career batting average in 12 major-league seasons.

Wells, 34, went 0 for 3 with an RBI ground out in a 4-4 exhibition tie with the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

Jeter, shortstop and team captain, will start the season on the disabled list and miss his first opening-day game since 2001.

“I told you guys all along my goal is to be ready by opening day, and I didn’t reach it,” he told reporters. “So, yeah, it’s disappointing.”

Jeter, 38, has had soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, which he injured Oct. 13. He was the designated hitter in a minor-league game Saturday, but more soreness developed and he has been unable to play this week.


Brett Anderson, who is scheduled to start for Oakland in Monday night’s regular-season opener against the visiting Mariners, gave up three runs and six hits in 5-1/3 innings of the Athletics’ 7-6 exhibition victory over Cleveland in 10 innings in Goodyear, Ariz.

“I’m ready to get up in the bigs. With some humidity (in Oakland), maybe the breaking ball will be better,” Anderson said.

• Baltimore Orioles infielder Wilson Betemit, 31, estimates he will be out from six to eight weeks because of a torn ligament in his right knee. He was hurt Monday while running the bases in an exhibition game.

Derek Lowe has earned a job with the Texas Rangers and will start the season in the bullpen.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said the 39-year-old right-hander, a former Mariner, will be a long reliever and spot starter.

Lowe was 9-11 with a 5.11 earned-run average last season in 21 starts and 17 relief appearances for Cleveland and the Yankees.

Texas will option middle infielder Jurickson Profar, one of the top prospects in the game, to Class AAA Round Rock. Profar, 20, is hitting .244 in spring-training games.

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