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Report of Fernando Rodney deal with Rays in question

Rays closer Fernando Rodney was quoted Wednesday in a Dominican Republic newspaper saying he was about to sign a two-year contract extension.

That was news to the Rays, however, as there has been no dialogue with his reps about a new deal.

That means either there is miscommunication between Rodney and agent Dan Lozano, whom he switched to this offseason, or between Rodney and the newspaper, El Dia.

Rodney, who is pitching in the Caribbean Series that starts today in Mexico, is set to make $2.5 million this season. He made $1.7 million in his breakout 2012 season, when he saved a team-record 48 games and posted an MLB-reliever low 0.60 ERA, and the Rays picked up his option.

The Rays don't comment on contract negotiations; a message left at Lozano's agency was not returned.

A-ROD SAGA: The Yankees are frustrated enough with Alex Rodriguez that they're privately hoping he simply retires, the Associated Press reported.

Rodriguez, 37, is out for at least half the season after hip surgery. He's now accused again of receiving performance-enhancing drugs, an allegation he denies.

If he doesn't play again due to a career-ending injury, about 85 percent of the $114 million he's owed by the team would be covered by insurance, according to the AP. New York also might be able to free itself from having the $27.5 million average annual value of Rodriguez's contract count in its luxury tax payroll in each of the next five seasons.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports reported that MLB officials plan to hold face-to-face interviews with all of the players named in this week's Miami New Times story, including Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal.

Also, the Yankees are close to a deal with DH Travis Hafner, weei.com reported.

PITCHING IN: Shaun Marcum was excited to sign with the Mets because they offered him an opportunity to pitch every five days. As for replacing R.A. Dickey, that will take a team effort. "I think if all five starters go out there and do their job, stay healthy, get to the goal of 200-plus innings then I think just that will fill R.A's shoes in itself," said Marcum, whose one-year, $4 million contract became official.

CONTRERAS VISITS CUBA: Jose Contreras received a rousing welcome in his return to Cuba 10 years after defecting. The right-hander is the first athlete to take advantage of a new migratory law that makes it easier for defectors who have long been considered traitors to visit their homeland.

BLUE JAYS: Infielder Andy LaRoche agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

D'BACKS: The team finalized a $5 million, two-year contract with shortstop Cliff Pennington.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Report of Fernando Rodney deal with Rays in question 01/30/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 11:45pm]
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