Derrek Lee will not come out of retirement for the New York Yankees, who hoped the 37-year-old first baseman would cover for them during Mark Teixeira's recovery from a wrist injury.
With few options, the club contacted Lee, who retired after the 2011 season. Lee considered the request for several days before notifying the Yankees on Thursday of his decision.
Teixeira strained a tendon in his right wrist last week while preparing for the World Baseball Classic. He is expected to miss about two months, leaving the already battered Yankees even shorter of players.
If they do not acquire a first baseman by opening day, the Yankees could use Juan Rivera, Kevin Youkilis, Dan Johnson or, perhaps, Travis Hafner in that spot. General manager Brian Cashman reportedly reached out to Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen along with Lee.
The Yankees already were without third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is recovering from hip surgery. Center fielder Curtis Granderson suffered a broken forearm early in camp and will miss at least the first month of the season. Shortstop Derek Jeter is returning slowly from a broken ankle, though he expects to be ready by opening day.
Lee played 15 seasons, the last with Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and retired with a .281 career batting average and 331 home runs.
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