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Derek Jeter hits off tee, takes grounders

Derek Jeter of the Yankees has a laugh

Derek Jeter of the Yankees has a laugh in the batting cage during practice before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Yankee Stadium. (Aug. 13, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

Derek Jeter has resumed on-field work for the first time since his 2013 season was cut short.

The Yankees captain hit off a tee in a batting cage and fielded 108 grounders on the grass in front of the infield dirt yesterday at the Yankees' minor-league complex in Tampa, Fla.

Jeter, who will turn 40 in June, was limited to 17 games last year after breaking an ankle during the 2012 playoffs.

"I don't think about it, and that's a good thing," he said.

Jeter usually begins baseball activities in mid-January in preparation for spring training.

Jeter broke his left ankle Oct. 13, 2012, during the American League Championship Series opener against Detroit. He was limited to five games and 11 at-bats in spring training last year, stayed behind in Florida when the team broke camp for rehabilitation and broke the ankle again in April during his rehab.

"It's good to have a normal offseason and get some work in," Jeter said. "Everything is normal now."

Jeter missed the first 91 games of the 2013 season, then felt pain in his right quadriceps when he returned July 11. He went back on the DL, returned July 28 for three games, then strained his right calf.

Back in the lineup Aug. 26, he played through Sept. 7, when he left for a pinch runner after getting a single against Boston. Though scans of the left ankle were negative, the Yankees said four days later that his season was over. Jeter wound up hitting .190 (12-for-63) with one homer and seven RBIs, playing 13 games at shortstop and four at designated hitter.

Yankees pitchers, catchers and injured players will begin workouts Feb. 15, with the rest of the team beginning five days later.

Gee, Mets compromise. The Mets settled their arbitration case with righthander Dillon Gee, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3,625,000 -- the midpoint between the $4.05 million he had requested and the $3.2 million he was offered Friday. First baseman-outfielder Lucas Duda is the last Met remaining in arbitration.-- AP

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