New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez departed the team's minor league complex Thursday, destination unknown, after completing a simulated game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.
There was no media access to the game, but it was Rodriguez's final appearance on the first leg of his minor league rehabilitation assignment. He fielded his position at third base and ran the bases between six at-bats. The Yankees announced he saw 31 total pitches
Whether there will be a next stop in baseball for Rodriguez and when remains a cliffhanger. He briefly stopped to communicate with print reporters, but when a flock of television cameras noticed Rodriguez was talking, they crashed the scene and Rodriguez fled in his car.
The Yankees indicated earlier in the week that Rodriguez could be bumped to Double-A Trenton, which was part of his 13-game rehab leg from July 2 through July 20.
---As soon as Dominican prospect Leonardo Molina turned 16 on Thursday, the New York Yankees made him a wealthy teenager, signing the outfielder to a contract that includes a $1.4 million bonus.
Molina is ranked fifth on Major League Baseball's list of international prospects. He was not eligible to sign with an MLB team until he turned 16.
---The Toronto Blue Jays activated right-handed reliever Sergio Santos from the 60-day disabled list Thursday and placed Dustin McGowan on the shelf with a right oblique strain.
Santos saved 30 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2011 and was dealt to Toronto that offseason. The right-hander missed most of the 2012 season with a right shoulder injury and appeared in just five games this season before landing on the DL with a right triceps strain on April 14. He then had surgery on this right elbow to remove bone spurs.
In 12 rehab appearances, the 30-year-old compiled a 6.17 ERA for the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League and the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
---In Baltimore manager Buck Showalter's opinion, a lengthy suspension for Alex Rodriguez could open the door for Orioles catcher Matt Wieters to join the New York Yankees in two years.
A yearlong ban for Rodriguez would free the team from having to pay his $25 million salary, which would help the Yankees get below the $189 million luxury tax threshold. Showalter told USA Today Sports that it's unfair for the Yankees to benefit financially from a suspension.
"If Bud (Selig) lets them get away with that, they're under the luxury tax," Showalter told the paper. "If they can reset, they can spend again, and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York."
Wieters, 27, can become a free agent after the 2015 season.
---Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. is offering a $100,000 reward to help bring his mother's kidnapper to justice.
Ripken announced the bounty Thursday at the Sports Legends Museum next to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Last July, Vi Ripken was abducted at gunpoint from her home just outside Baltimore. She was driven around blindfolded for almost 24 hours before she was found unharmed in her car.
No arrests have been made, but the former infielder said he hopes the reward will breathe new life into the case.