Derek Jeter fully expects to be ready on Opening Day

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Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter took questions from media members during a press conference Sunday morning in spring camp and expressed once again that he fully intends to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day — April 1 against the Red Sox.

“I broke my ankle in October; it’s been quite some time,” Jeter said Sunday, via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Up until this point, the ankle has healed perfectly, now it’s just a matter of getting everything else in shape.”

“I’m going to have to push myself,” Jeter continued, “but Opening Day has been the goal all along.”

The 38-year-old will not be cleared to appear in a Grapefruit League game until the middle of March, but he’s taking infield practice regularly and hasn’t experienced any sort of setbacks with his running program.

Jeter hit .316/.362/.429 with 15 homers and 99 runs scored in 159 games last season for New York.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has hinted that Jeter will DH sometimes this year against left-handers.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.