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Yankees ask Lee, Jones to come out of retirement

The SportsXchange

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Monday that he talked to Derrek Lee about coming out of retirement to replace the injured Mark Teixeira at first base.

Cashman also said he spoke to the agent for free agent third baseman Scott Rolen and said he is interested in luring former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones out of retirement.

"If Chipper wants to come back, I would love to have Chipper," Cashman said via ESPN New York.

Jones' agent, BB Abbott, said Jones chuckled after seeing Cashman's comments on Twitter and intends to stay retired. Jones called it a career last October after 19 seasons with the Braves.

The Yankees are without Teixeira (strained right wrist), third baseman Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery) and outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken forearm). Teixeira and Granderson are out until May and Rodriguez until at least the All-Star Break.

Lee, 37, who did not play last year, is reportedly interested but has not made a decision. He batted .267 with 19 home runs in 113 games in 2011.

The Yankees are using Juan Rivera at first base for now but designated hitter Travis Hafner has also been practicing the position at Yankees camp.

Lee was the National League batting champ in 2005 when he hit .335. He is a career .281 hitter over 15 years. He was a part of the Florida Marlins club that beat the Yankees in the World Series in 2003.

"He is the type of player who is Yankee-like, in terms of capabilities, when he was playing, and makeup for the clubhouse and stuff like that," Cashman said. "I just planted a seed -- 'If you have an interest, thinking of playing, let me know.' "

Rolen, who turns 38 next month, is a possibility to fill in for Rodriguez, if offseason signee Kevin Youkilis moves over to first base. Jayson Nix or Ronnier Mustelier may also be candidates to play at third.

If Youkilis stays at third base, Rivera and Dan Johnson can play first. Rivera and Mustelier are also possible outfield replacements for Granderson while he is out.

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