Derek Jeter exits with soreness near ankle

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When Derek Jeter was pulled for a pinch-runner in the sixth inning Saturday, the hope was the Yankees were just preserving him in a 12-6 game. However, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported three innings later that Jeter was taken out due to soreness around the ankle he broke in the postseason last year.

Jeter singled in a run in his final at-bat Saturday. The half-inning before, he fielded a grounder at short a little awkwardly and threw wide of the bag at first, giving Jonny Gomes a single (they don’t call errors on Jeter at Yankee Stadium).

Jeter was back at shortstop today after DHing last night. His status going forward is very uncertain at this point. Maybe he can DH, but it’s not like he’s much of an asset there. The Yankees would prefer to continue to rotate Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson in that spot. Jeter has very little range at shortstop with his legs giving him so much trouble — he suffered setbacks with his quad and calf as he rehabbed the ankle — but given that the alternative is Eduardo Nunez, Jeter might still be the team’s best option when he’s able to play.

Report: Nationals sign Joaquin Benoit to a one-year deal

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Joaquin Benoit to a contract. Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post adds that it’s a one-year major league deal worth $1 million.

Benoit, 40, spent last season with the Phillies and Pirates. He put up a mediocre 4.65 ERA with a 46/22 K/BB ratio across 50 1/3 innings. Only 8/13 innings came with the Pirates as he dealt with a left knee injury that kept him out of action for much of the final month and a half. He also left the team in mid-September to attend to a family matter in the Dominican Republic.

Given his age and declining performance, as well as the Nationals’ bullpen depth, Benoit doesn’t figure to pitch in many high-leverage spots, but that could change with injuries.