Mark Teixeira took swings from the right side of the plate and then the left in Tampa on Sunday, his first time batting outdoors since a wrist injury ended his 2013 season almost before it began.
He pronounced himself ready to return and gave what seemed like a warning to the rest of baseball. Last year was an aberration, when the Yankees suffered massive injuries and missed the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years. ‘‘You look at our lineup, we’re back to being the Yankees again,’’ he said. ‘‘Last year we weren’t the Yankees.’’
After two days of canceled flights from New York, Teixeira started workouts four days ahead of the other position players. He fielded grounders at first base, took 53 swings off a tee, and 43 more in batting practice in his first outdoor session since surgery last July 2 to repair a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist.
Kimbrel agrees to deal
All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and the Braves avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $42 million, four-year contract. Kimbrel gets a $1 million signing bonus under the deal and salaries of $7 million this year, $9 million in 2015, $11 million in 2016, and $13 million in 2017. The Braves have a $13 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.
Kimbrel saved 50 games with a 1.21 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 67 innings last year. In four seasons with the Braves, Kimbrel has 139 saves and a 1.39 ERA. He has been named to the NL All-Star team each of the last three years.
Burnett gets two years
A.J. Burnett and the Phillies completed a contract that guarantees the pitcher $15 million for 2014 and $22.5 million over two seasons. Under the deal, Burnett would make $33.5 million over two seasons if he makes 30 starts or more in both years.
Burnett, 37, chose the Phillies over the Pirates, he said, because of the proximity of the team to his home in Monkton, Md. Burnett revived his career with Pittsburgh, pitching to a 3.41 ERA and winning 26 games the past two seasons.
Reddick avoids arbitration
Outfielder Josh Reddick and the Athletics avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $2.7 million, one-year contract. Reddick hit .226 with 12 homers and 56 RBIs in 114 games last year, when he went to the disabled list twice because of a sprained right wrist that required offseason surgery . . . In Scottsdale, Ariz., Tim Hudson, the newest member of the Giants’ rotation, took his first official turn on the bullpen mound since he sustained a severe injury to his right ankle last season while with Atlanta. Hudson, 38, threw about 30 pitches and said he felt fine afterward . . . Four months after undergoing left knee surgery, All-Star third baseman Manny Machado reported to Orioles camp in Sarasota, Fla., took batting practice, and fielded grounders. ‘‘If I miss the first week or two weeks [of the season] or whatever it may be, once I get going, I’m not going to stop,’’ he said . . . The Mets will honor late broadcaster and Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner by wearing a uniform patch all season and having an on-field ceremony on Opening Day.