Alex Rodriguez has refuted a Thursday report that he is unlikely to play for the New York Yankees again.
"Alex has no plans at all to retire," ESPNNewYork.com reported, citing a source close to Rodriguez.
Another source, which was authorized by Rodriguez to speak on his behalf, told ESPN.com:"Alex says he's working diligently on his rehabilitation and is looking forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible."
The third baseman is recovering from hip surgery that could leave him in such a lesser role that he may opt for an equitable settlement or simply retire, New York Daily News reported earlier in the day, freeing the Yankees from the five years and $114 million left on his contract.
"I don't know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him," a baseball official told the Daily News. "If he did that, he'd be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones."
Rodriguez's latest steroid scandal involves his association with Miami "biochemist" Anthony Bosch, who is being investigated by federal and state governments, and Major League Baseball. The Miami New Times reported Tuesday that a former investor in Bosch's Biogenesis clinic provided documentation of the performance-enhancing drugs Bosch had allegedly sold to Rodriguez and other players.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have agreed to sign designated hitter Travis Hafner, according to a Westchester Journal News report. The deal will be announced when the contract language has been finalized.
Hafner will serve as the designated hitter against right-handed pitchers. He has a career batting average of .287 vs. righties.
---The Arizona Diamondbacks announced they have signed infielder/outfielder Martin Prado to a four-year contract, one week after they acquired him as part of the haul for outfielder Justin Upton. The deal is worth $40 million, according to a FOX Sports report.
Prado, 29, was in his final year of arbitration eligibility and could've become a free agent after the 2013 season. He batted .301 with 10 home runs in 690 plate appearances last season for the Atlanta Braves.
He's expected to play third base in Arizona to replace Chris Johnson, who also went to the Braves in the multiplayer swap.
Also, former Diamondbacks broadcaster Mark Grace was sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty to felony endangerment and misdemeanor driving under the influence.
Grace, 48, was arrested last August on suspicion of driving under the influence. He'll begin his sentence Feb. 10, but will be released during his hours of employment.
---First baseman Lyle Overbay reportedly has agreed to a contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Overbay agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to the major league camp, according to the Boston Herald. He is expected to compete for a backup position to Mike Napoli, who was signed earlier this month despite a degenerative hip condition.
The left-handed hitting Overbay, 36, batted .259 last season in 65 games for Atlanta and Arizona.
---Right-hander Matt Capps, who was sidelined by a shoulder injury last season, signed to a minor-league contract by the Cleveland Indians with a non-roster invitation to the major-league camp, the team announced Thursday.
Capps started last season as the Minnesota Twins closer before he suffered shoulder inflammation in the last half of the season. He saved 14 of 15 games.
---The New York Mets signed reliever LaTroy Hawkins to a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, according to a USA Today report.
Hawkins, 40, posted a 3.64 ERA in 42 innings for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012.
---The Cincinnati Reds agreed to contracts with right-hander Alfredo Simon and outfielder Chris Heisey, avoiding arbitration with both players.
The moves leave the Reds with four unsigned arbitration eligible players in Homer Bailey, Shin-Soo Choo, Mat Latos and Mike Leake.