Alex Rodriguez continues to make progress from hip surgery

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Alex Rodriguez isn’t as far along as teammate Mark Teixeira, but he continues to make progress from January hip surgery.

According to the Associated Press, Rodriguez began his third week of on-field activity today by fielding grounders and taking 25 swings in an indoor batting cage at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. He also did some running along the warning track.

It’s not clear when Rodriguez will be ready for rehab games, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger that he will essentially have to go through a full spring training. He’s not expected to join the club until after the All-Star break.

“There’s a lot that has to happen,” Girardi said. “There’s a lot of hurdles.”

Rodriguez, 37, batted .272/.353/.430 with 18 home runs, 57 RBI and a .783 OPS in 122 games last season. He is making $28 million this season and is owed $119 million through 2017.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.