Jeter gets back on diamond

McClatchy news servicesJanuary 29, 2013 

Derek Jeter worked out on a baseball field Monday in Tampa, Fla., for the first time since breaking his left ankle in October.

The 38-year-old New York Yankees captain fielded 55 grounders on the grass in front of the infield dirt at the team’s minor league complex. He also hit in a batting cage.

“Everything went well,” Jeter said.

The 13-time All-Star expects to start in New York’s opener against Boston on April 1. Jeter broke the ankle lunging for a grounder in the American League Championship Series opener against Detroit on Oct. 13. He had surgery a week later, and the Yankees said recovery time would be four to five months.

Jeter led the American League with 216 hits in 2012 and batted .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBI.

New York Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for spring training in two weeks.

DODGERS TV RIGHTS SOAR

The Los Angeles Dodgers formally announced a deal with Time Warner Cable on Monday to create a new TV channel that, according to people familiar with the situation, assures the team more than $7 billion over 25 years.

That is double what Major League Baseball thought the local TV rights were worth when the team was sold out of bankruptcy just last year.

The gap will be the subject of future discussions as the league haggles over how much of that extra money will go into a revenue-sharing pool to help out low-revenue National League franchises.

MLB calculates that 34 percent of a team’s local revenue, after subtracting costs, is available for redistribution throughout the league.

When the Dodgers were mired in bankruptcy last year, baseball valued their future TV rights at $3.5 billion over 25 years.

Guggenheim Partners and Magic Johnson bought the team out of bankruptcy last year for $2 billion from Frank McCourt.

The higher price means monthly cable bills are likely headed higher.

“There’s no question that there’s a huge problem with sports rights,” said Derek Baine, a senior analyst with research firm SNL Kagan, adding that one big question is “when is this going to stop?”

PAVANO LOSES SPLEEN

Carl Pavano’s spleen was removed last week after the pitcher was injured when he fell in the snow.

The 37-year-old right-hander was hurt in mid-January at his home in Vermont and has been in a Connecticut hospital for nearly two weeks.

“He lost a lot of blood. It was very, very serious,” agent David Pepe said Monday.

Pepe said Pavano didn’t think he was seriously injured after the fall, then didn’t feel well following a workout a few days later in Connecticut.

“He felt bad enough that he went to the hospital and he ended up getting admitted, and they realized he had a lacerated spleen,” Pepe said.

Pavano is a free agent who spent the past 31/2 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, going 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts this past season. He didn’t pitch after June 1 because of a strained right shoulder.

A heralded free agent after the 2004 season, Pavano signed a $39.95 million, four-year contract with the New York Yankees, but then was sidelined by injuries to his shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow and ribs. He went 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA in 26 starts during his contract.

SHORT HOPS

The Phillies and Yuniesky Betancourt, a 30-year-old shortstop who broke in with the Seattle Mariners in 2005, have agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. Betancourt, who was traded to Kansas City in 2009, batted .228 last season with the Royals. … The Phillies also agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed reliever Chad Durbin, who was key in Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series title. He spent 2012 with Atlanta. … Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish needs surgery on his right shoulder and is expected to miss spring training. Kalish missed much of 2012 after surgery on his left shoulder. … Right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson reportedly agreed to a $3.2 million, one-year contract with San Diego. … Infielder Ronny Cedeno agreed to a $1.15 million, one-year deal with St. Louis, giving the Cardinals insurance at shortstop, where Rafael Furcal is returning from elbow surgery. … Outfielder Juan Rivera, who played with the L.A. Dodgers in 2012, agreed to return to the Yankees (where he played 2001-03), under terms of a minor league contract.

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