CC: A-Rod will be welcomed back if he can play in ’14

By on December 18, 2013

CC Sabathia waded carefully into the Alex Rodriguez circus on Tuesday, calling for a return to the Yankee lineup for the beleaguered third basemen, currently fighting a 211-game doping ban from Major League Baseball.

Sabathia made his comments at the MLB Fan Cave in Greenwich Village, which is owned by MLB, the same group that is fighting to keep Rodriguez out of baseball.

While Sabathia tip-toed around the subject, he did tell the Daily News that Rodriguez would be a welcome addition to the team next season if he wins his appeal.

“I mean, any time you have that guy around, he’s one of the best players to ever play so anytime you have Alex around, in the clubhouse, on the field, he’s going to make an impact,” said Sabathia, who, with wife Amber, hosted a holiday party for 52 kids from the Madison Square Boys & Girls Columbus Clubhouse in the Bronx. “So, we’re just waiting to see what happens.”

Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game suspension. CC Sabathia says Rodriguez will be welcome in the Yankees lineup if he wins his case.

Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game suspension. CC Sabathia says Rodriguez will be welcome in the Yankees lineup if he wins his case.

Sabathia said it was hard to decipher the situation involving A-Rod with so many twists and turns in the saga. Rodriguez appealed the ban by MLB commissioner Bud Selig and is currently waiting for arbitrator Fredric Horowitz to rule on the grievance matter. A decision could come by January.

“It’s tough, man, just have to wait and see,” the big left-hander said, sporting a black T-shirt. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. I can only imagine the way he feels; just to have to wait and see what’s going to happen. I’m sure the Yankees are going to act accordingly after they figure out what the decision is.”

The Yankees haven’t waited on a resolution, splurging on free-agent signings with catcher Brian McCann, outfielders Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason and re-signing pitcher Hiroki Kuroda for another year. Sabathia likes the activity.

“I think that the moves they made, they’ve addressed the needs that we had, which they did in ’09,” he said, referring to his own signing with the Yankees. “Obviously, there’s still a lot of offseason left and still have some holes to fill. There are still some questions about A-Rod and different things.”

CC Sabathia (r.) and wife Amber are all smiles.

Julia Xanthos/New York Daily News

CC Sabathia (r.) and wife Amber are all smiles.

One player who won’t be back is Andy Pettitte, who announced his retirement last season.

“I think (Pettitte)’s good with his decision,” said Sabathia, who exchanged texts with Pettitte last week. “I think he’s done this time. I haven’t even thought about bringing that up to him (to come back).”

Without Pettitte, Sabathia believes the Yankee rotation is fine as constructed, even though it’s an open secret the Yankees would like to add Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

“I mean, that’s not for me to say, I think we still have Michael [PINEDA]coming back,” he said of the oft-injured right-hander. “You know, we signed Hiro back, so I’m sure they’ll go out and patch in a few other guys and see who can fill those spots so we’ll see what happens.”

Two Carsten’s on the couch: CC and ‘Lil C’ (l.) have a laugh.

Julia Xanthos/New York Daily News

Two Carsten’s on the couch: CC and ‘Lil C’ (l.) have a laugh.

Sabathia toned down his comments regarding Robinson Cano, who signed with Seattle earlier this month, spurning the Yankees. Sabathia called Cano the best second basemen in the league on Tuesday and he made the “best choice possible for him and his family.”

Sabathia said he’s been in contact with Derek Jeter, who spent most of last season on the disabled list with assorted leg and foot injuries.

“I know he’s working hard and it’s not rehab stuff,” Sabathia said. “It’s actually getting ready for baseball season. I know he’s excited about that and it’s a different off-season for him. For him to be healthy and same old Derek Jeter, It’s huge. That puts us right at the top of the division.”

As for himself, Sabathia expects to have a resurgent year after struggling last season with the most losses (13, against 14 wins) and highest ERA (4.78) of his career.

“I expect to be good, be healthy, be stronger than I was last year,” he said. “I’ve been throwing all off-season so my arm feels great, working hard so I expect to have a bounce-back year.”

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Baseball – NY Daily News

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