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Derek Jeter on Alex Rodriguez: 'It's over and done with'

Alex Rodriguez, left, and Derek Jeter discuss things

Alex Rodriguez, left, and Derek Jeter discuss things on the field at Yankee Stadium during a game in 2008. Credit: Newsday file photo

TAMPA, Fla. - Derek Jeter didn't sound relieved, just blunt.

The shortstop, after working out at the Yankees' minor-league complex Monday morning, answered several questions about Alex Rodriguez's decision to drop his lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the players' union Friday, as well as the announcement that A-Rod won't attend spring training.

"I can't tell you what he's thinking. I can't tell you if he's glad about this or glad about that. You have to ask him," Jeter said. "For us, we don't have to deal with it. It's over and done with. It's a situation he has to deal with. It is what it is. He's not going to be here this year, so you have to find ways to get it done."

The shortstop said he exchanged "some texts" with A-Rod after Friday's news broke but would not elaborate on the content. "Ask him," Jeter said with a smile. "It's not my job to answer for him."

Jeter also would not take the bait on whether he feels relieved that spring training won't be overshadowed by a daily barrage of "how do you feel about A-Rod being here?" questions. Jeter did, however, allow that the way things have played out shouldn't cause much of a distraction. Certainly not what it would have been had Rodriguez decided to show up in Tampa.

"It's not a distraction unless it's something that you have to talk about all the time," Jeter said. "For us, we show up and we do our job. The situation that he's in is a situation that affects him."

Which leaves the Yankees "no choice," he said, but to move on.

"It is what it is," Jeter repeated. "He's not here for this season, so we're going to have to find ways to win with the team that we have."

On Tuesday the team will formally introduce Japanese righthander Masahiro Tanaka at a news conference at Yankee Stadium. Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season, leading the Rakuten Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title.

Jeter's close friend Andruw Jones, a Yankee from 2011-12, played with Rakuten in 2013.

"Jones said [Tanaka] was good," Jeter said. "He said he pitches, he goes after people. He said he's the real deal."

The Yankees were desperate for starting pitching this offseason, and Jeter was glad to hear the news in mid-January that Tanaka would be heading to the Bronx.

"I always love when we sign pitching. That's how you win," he said. "You get an opportunity to have a good starting staff and bullpen and you're going to be in a lot of games."

Jeter on Monday took 33 swings in the batting cage during four rounds of BP. He also took 44 grounders at short, ranging deeper in the hole than previously.

Yankees pitchers and catcher will report here Friday, with position players scheduled for five days later.

"Just getting ready," Jeter said. "It's the last week before we start."


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