Alex Rodriguez will start the season in what’s become a familiar place: the disabled list.
The Yankees said Monday the third baseman will have surgery on his left hip, an injury that could sideline him until the All-Star break and may explain his spectacularly poor performance during the playoffs.
‘‘It’s a significant blow,’’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. ‘‘But we’ve dealt with significant blows and, hopefully, we’ll be able to deal with this one, as well.’’
A 14-time All-Star and baseball’s priciest player at $275 million, Rodriguez has a torn labrum, bone impingement, and a cyst. He will need four to six weeks of physical therapy to strengthen the hip before surgery, and the team anticipates he will be sidelined four to six months after the operation.
This will be Rodriguez’s sixth trip to the disabled list in six seasons. A-Rod had right hip surgery on March 9, 2009, and returned that May 8.
‘‘It is a more complicated surgery with a longer recovery time because there is a little bit more that needs to be done,’’ Cashman said, citing the bone impingement. ‘‘I don’t think it’s age related. But at the same time, the older you are, the slower you’re going to recover regardless. But the bottom line and the message I’ve been receiving is that this is a solvable issue.’’
Rodriguez, 37, complained to manager Joe Girardi of a problem with his right hip the night Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him — and hit a tying ninth-inning home run — against Baltimore during Game 3 of the AL Division Series in October. He went to New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s emergency room and was checked out then.
Rodriguez, owed $114 million by New York over the next five years, was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others. He batted .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs in the playoffs, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against righthanded pitchers.
Rays land Loney
Former Red Sox first baseman James Loney is staying in the AL East, agreeing to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Rays, with another $1 million attainable in performance bonuses, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Loney batted .230 in 30 games for the Red Sox last season after being included in the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers. The 28-year-old is a career .282 hitter, though his RBI total has declined three straight years, down to 41 in 2012 . . . The Giants and free agent Angel Pagan agreed to a four-year contract, allowing the world champions to keep their leadoff hitter and center fielder. Pagan, 31, batted .288 with 56 RBIs and 15 triples in his first season with San Francisco . . . The Rangers neared agreement with reliever Joakim Soria, who missed all of last season with the Royals. Soria, 28, a two-time All-Star, is recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery, his second such procedure. A person familiar with the deal said catcher Geovany Soto is staying with the Rangers after agreeing to a $2.75 million, one-year contract. Soto played in 47 games with Texas last season, batting just .196, after being acquired from the Cubs . . . Righthander Jason Marquis is staying with the Padres, reaching a $3 million, one-year deal. Marquis, 34, went 6-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 15 starts last season with San Diego after being released by the Twins in May.
WBC opener set
The United States will play its first game in the 2013 World Baseball Classic on March 8, taking on Mexico in a Pool D matchup at Chase Field in Phoenix. Also in Pool D are Canada and Italy. The rosters for all 16 nations competing will be announced on Jan. 16. David Wright and Joe Mauer have already committed to play for US manager Joe Torre . . . The Baseball Hall of Fame’s pre-integration panel — part of what once was known as the Veterans Committee — elected three figures to be inducted into Cooperstown next July: Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O’Day, and barehanded catcher Deacon White, who played for the Boston franchise in the 1870s. It took 12 votes from the 16-member panel to be inducted. Ruppert and O'Day each got 15 votes and White drew 12. The next closest was shortstop Bill Dahlen with 10 . . . ESPN named studio analyst John Kruk as the third member of the broadcast booth for Sunday night games, replacing new Indians manager Terry Francona. Kruk, a three-time All-Star, has been with the network since 2004 . . . Former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra, 49, was sentenced in Los Angeles to 6½ months in prison for hiding and selling sports memorabilia and other items that were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing. Dykstra is currently serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement. He also was sentenced this year to nine months in jail after pleading no contest to charges he exposed himself to women he met through Craigslist.