Yankees were never close to signing new Twin Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales #8 of the Seattle Mariners connects Kendrys Morales #8 of the Seattle Mariners connects on a first-inning RBI base hit during a game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. (May 15, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Contrary to all the noise surrounding Kendrys Morales in recent weeks, things never got serious between the Yankees and the designated hitter/first baseman, who inked a one-year deal with the Twins on Saturday.

The Yankees did have discussions about the 30-year-old but ultimately weren't interested in bidding unless Morales fell into their lap at a severe discount.

The terms of Morales' deal with the Twins -- $12 million prorated for 2014, according to CBSsports.com -- did not come close to qualifying as the price coming down.

The Yankees still might have been long shots to be in on Morales even if Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran hadn't returned to action, but with the pair back, a need for Morales didn't exist.

"We had thought that Tex's injury wasn't going to keep him out for a long period of time, and we were pretty confident that we were going to get Carlos back,'' Joe Girardi said. "Those spots , we feel that we're covered.''

Beltran just a DH for now

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Beltran didn't look good at the plate in his first two games as the DH after coming off the disabled list -- 0-for-7 heading into Saturday night, when he had a two-out RBI double in the sixth -- but Girardi isn't worried.

"So far, so good. He's come in every day and said he's felt good, and that's the important thing to me,'' he said. "He'll start hitting, I know that. That's not my concern. My concern is how he feels, and he feels good.''

But not good enough to test his right elbow by throwing, meaning the rightfielder has been relegated to DH duties. "I don't have a date on that,'' Girardi said of when Beltran will try to throw. "We're trying to see how this goes. At some point, we'll get to where we'll try it.''

Honoring Zim

Before their game Saturday, the Rays honored longtime adviser Don Zimmer, who died earlier in the week at the age of 83. Among those contributing video tributes were Girardi, who was managed by Zimmer in Chicago, and Derek Jeter, who grew close to Zimmer when he was Joe Torre's bench coach from 1996-2003.

Kelley feels ready

Shawn Kelley believes he's ready to rejoin the Yankees' bullpen after Saturday night's 19-pitch rehab stint for Double-A Trenton. Kelley, who's been on the DL since May 13 with a strained lumbar spine, struck out two and walked one before he was removed in the first inning because of a 20-pitch limit.

"I'm 100 percent confident I'm going to wake up and feel fine," he said. "I guess it's just up to them."

Kelley wasn't where he wanted to be in Wednesday's simulated game, but any doubt for him disappeared Saturday night. "I felt like myself," he said. "I felt like the slider had a good angle on it. It was breaking. I felt really good about my pitches today."

With David Lennon

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