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Yankees' Jeter to start season on DL

TAMPA — Derek Jeter will likely join Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson on the Yankees' star-studded disabled list for the season opener against the Red Sox on April 1.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said it's "more likely than not" Jeter will start on the DL because of a sore left ankle, which is still recovering from October surgery.

"April 1 is unrealistic in my mind now," Cashman said Sunday. "There's nothing new going on other than growing pains as he gets through these final hurdles of his rehab."

Eduardo Nunez, known for his bat more than his glove, would fill in at shortstop for the 13-time All-Star, who broke the ankle Oct. 13 during the AL Championship Series opener against the Tigers and had surgery a week later.

Jeter, 38, who has repeatedly vowed to be ready for opening day, played in his first big-league spring game on March 9 as a DH. He returned to shortstop four days later then played consecutive games on March 15 and 16 before inflammation kept him out of the lineup.

WELLS IN PINSTRIPES?: The Yankees are close to a deal to acquire Angels OF Vernon Wells, according to several media reports. Yahoo! Sports reported that Wells, who has a full no-trade clause, has signed off on the deal, which would also send cash to New York. Wells, 34, has batted .222 with a .258 on-base percentage in two seasons with Los Angeles since being acquired from Toronto.

MO HAS MIGRAINES: Tests determined that closer Mariano Rivera has been suffering from migraine headaches for about two weeks. The right-hander is expected to be ready for the regular season.

Jays: Not too sharp

DUNEDIN — Mark Buehrle walked away from his penultimate spring tuneup a little disappointed.

Facing Pirates minor-leaguers, the Blue Jays left-hander threw 85 pitches and allowed two runs in 51/3 innings. Battling a gusty win, Buehrle struggled to locate his cut fastball.

"Usually I don't have a problem throwing cutters, and it just seemed like I was missing location a lot more," he told the National Post of Toronto. "Hopefully it was because of the wind."

Buehrle's final spring start is set for Friday against the Phillies.

Phils: Shortstop cut

CLEARWATER — Yuniesky Betancourt snared a line drive in the ninth inning and turned it into a double play for his final act as a Phillie. Six minutes after a 7-6 loss to Boston ended, Betancourt slipped on red shorts and walked to manager Charlie Manuel's office.

He emerged a free agent four minutes later.

"It was a very difficult decision," GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He played great for us. We had some other guys feel great, and we're comfortable with where we are as far as those players are concerned."

The presence of INFs Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen made Betancourt superfluous.

.Fast facts

Blue Jays

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin Tickets: (727) 733-0429, bluejays.com

Today: vs. Phillies, 1:05

Phillies

Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater Tickets: (727) 467-4457, phillies.com

Today: at Blue Jays, 1:05

Yankees

Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner Martin Luther King and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244, yankees.com

Today: Off

Yankees' Jeter to start season on DL 03/24/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 24, 2013 9:47pm]

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