A-Rod 'not ready' for return

NEW YORK -- While it has been well documented that Derek Jeter is lobbying the Yankees to reinstate him to their active roster as soon as possible, maybe even before the All-Star break, the same is not true of Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod had a single and his first RBI for the Class A Tampa Yankees in Wednesday's game against Dunedin, but manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees' $275 million third baseman knows he is not as close as Jeter to a return to the major leagues.

"I think Alex feels that he's not to that level and that he’s not ready to go," Girardi said. "You have to wait until a player tells you he's ready, and then you make an evaluation. We don't think he’s to that point yet."

A-Rod is 2-for-15 so far in six rehab games, all in Class A. The Yankees have until July 22 to determine on whether to reactivate him or put him back on the disabled list. After Tuesday's game, in which he went 0-for-3, A-Rod said he "will definitely be ready" at the end of his 20-day rehab stint.

But unlike Jeter, not a day sooner. "I don't think there's any question that he will take the whole 20 days," GM Brian Cashman said. "I think the fact that one of my guys is playing in Single-A and the other is in Triple-A tells you which one is closer to returning."

Last week, a source familiar with a conference call on which the Yankees and Rodriguez discussed his rehab assignment told ESPNNewYork.com that A-Rod had expressed uncertainty about when, or even if, he would be able to play again this season.

"It sounded like he was leaving himself every exit strategy possible," the source said.

Jeter has expressed no such reservations. The 39-year-old Yankees captain, who is playing Wednesday night for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Rochester, is 1-for-6 in three rehab games and has yet to play back-to-back games at shortstop, something the Yankees have said is a requirement before he can be reactivated. That leaves open the possibility that he could return as soon as Friday, providing he is able to play full, or nearly full, games Wednesday night and Thursday for Scranton.