Tampa, Fla. — Alex Rodriguez reported to the Yankees three days ahead of schedule. He spoke for 8 1/2 minutes about his season-long drug suspension.
But on his first day back with the team since September 2013, Rodriguez never said why he resumed the use of performance-enhancing drugs, never explained what he did and avoided getting into any specifics.
"I cringe when I look at some of things I did," Rodriguez said, surrounded by about 40 reporters on the sidewalk outside the Yankees minor league complex. "No mistake that I made has any good answer, no justification.
"It's unexplainable, and that's on me. I've dug a big hole for myself. Paid a price."
New York officials asked him to hold a prespring training news conference at Yankee Stadium, but Rodriguez declined. Team officials told them they didn't want him holding one at Steinbrenner Field, where they felt it would be a distraction.
So Rodriguez improvised.
Wearing a green University of Miami sweatsuit, he arrived at Steinbrenner Field on Monday morning for his physical, three days before the first workout for Yankees position players.
Shortly before 1 p.m., he showed up at the minor league complex, a little less than 1 mile away, carrying what appeared to be a tan bat box.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman say Chase Headley will be their starting third baseman and Rodriguez will compete for at-bats at designated hitter.
Rodriguez called Headley an "excellent addition" to the team.
When asked if at any point he would address specifics regarding his mistakes, Rodriguez answered: "Right now I'm just focused on making this team. Obviously, it was a rough year."
Rodriguez is owed $61 million in the final three seasons of his 10-year, $275 million contract. A marketing agreement signed at the time of his contract provides for five $6 million bonuses he could earn for historic achievements; the Yankees told him they don't plan to pay those.
When asked what he would have done differently the past two seasons, Rodriguez responded by saying: "I don't have time for that."
Red Sox, Moncada agree
Cuban infield prospect Yoan Moncada agreed to a deal with the Red Sox, according to multiple reports.
Moncada will receive a $31.5 million signing bonus, which means the Red Sox will have to pay a 100 percent tax for exceeding their international bonus pool money and their cost will be $63 million to sign Moncada, 19.
He worked out for several teams in recent weeks, including the Tigers, and the Red Sox reportedly beat the Yankees and Padres for his services.
Various reports had the Yanlkees bidding $25 million.
Around the horn
Reds manager Bryan Price says Marlins pitcher Mat Latos' suggestions that Cincinnati officials rushed him back from an injury and lacked leadership in the clubhouse are "unfair and inaccurate."
... Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar has undergone shoulder surgery and is expected to miss his second season in a row.
... Adrian Beltre and the Rangers reworked the final two seasons of the third baseman's six-year, $96 million contract, eliminating the team's conditional right to void his 2016 salary.
... The Dodgers agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Dustin McGowan.