Derek Jeter 'saddened' by A-Rod saga

Updated: January 16, 2014, 1:40 AM ET
By Matt Ehalt | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter told reporters in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday he is "saddened" after teammate Alex Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season for his involvement with the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic.

"As a teammate, you're saddened by the whole thing," Jeter said, according to the New York Post. "The whole thing has been kind of messy."

[+] EnlargeDerek Jeter
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesDerek Jeter on Alex Rodriguez's season-long ban by MLB: "The whole thing has been kind of messy."

Jeter, speaking at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at an event for his Turn 2 Foundation, said he has been in communication with Rodriguez. Arbitrator Frederic Horowitz ruled Saturday that Rodriguez would be suspended for all of 2014, although his suspension was reduced from 211 games to 162.

Rodriguez's camp said the third baseman plans to attend spring training despite the suspension. Jeter did not directly comment on the possibility of Rodriguez joining the team next month.

"You've got to ask him that question," Jeter said, according to the Post. "I really can't give you any more on that."

Jeter and Rodriguez have been teammates since 2004 and have had a testy relationship at times during their time together in the Bronx. Jeter offered some sympathy for Rodriguez as he deals with a tough situation. Rodriguez is suing to try and get his suspension overturned.

"I mean, he's human," Jeter said, according to the New York Daily News. "I'm sure it's a rough situation."

Jeter also told reporters he likely will start baseball activities at the Yankees' complex in Tampa on Monday. Jeter played just 17 games in 2013 as he was never able to completely overcome the broken left ankle he suffered in the 2012 AL Championship Series against Detroit. Jeter said he's been working out since the start of November.

He said his offseason has been going well and he's "looking forward to getting out there.''

Jeter re-signed a one-year, $12-million deal with the team in the offseason. He told reporters he's focused on this year, not what lies ahead in terms of his future. He likes the moves the Yankees made this offseason in acquiring catcher Brian McCann, and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. The Yankees are also after Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

"We've made some great additions. You never know what else we're gonna do, if we're gonna do anything," Jeter said, according to the Daily News. "I've told you guys for years, until you get to spring training, you never know what the changes are going to be. I like what I see so far."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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