Yankees rumors: Cashman not optimistic about signing Derrek Lee

Kevin C. Cox

New York has been trying to reel a few players out of retirement this week, but have not had much luck so far.

The New York Yankees appear to be painfully aware of their predicament at first and third base. The club recently made a run at Padres third baseman Chase Headley, but since San Diego doesn't seem to be biting and the rest of their easily-acquirable options are pretty terrible, the Bombers have resorted to talking players out of retirement.

As reported yesterday, the Yankees have reached out to retirees Chipper Jones, Scott Rolen, and Derrek Lee about suiting up for another season. Jones has iterated on several occasions that he is retired for good, and the Yankees' pursuit of him is not likely to change that.

Less is known about the prospects of the club reaching deals with Rolen and Lee, though Brian Cashman doesn't seem to think their chances of bringing Lee out of retirement are very good. Cashman said on Monday that "as of right now" he's not very optimistic that Derrek Lee will play for the Yankees, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Lee, 37, has been out of baseball since the end of 2011, but said throughout last year that he was not officially retired, just awaiting the right opportunity. The former Marlins and Cubs' slugger is a career .281/.365/.495 hitter with 331 home runs in 15 big-league seasons.

If he's in playing form and interested in getting back on the field, he could very likely be New York's best option on paper as a two-month stopgap at first base. The "if he's in playing form" part is a pretty big if, however, especially with just under three weeks to go until Opening Day.

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