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Yankees are in area, so they'll watch Pedro

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The Yankees will watch Pedro Martinez throw a bullpen session Friday in the Dominican Republic, a person familiar with the situation confirmed. But the club would be interested in signing the three-time Cy Young Award winner only to a minor-league contract, while Martinez is reportedly still interested in a prorated deal for $5 million.

Fox Sports first reported on its Web site that the Yankees will join the Cubs, Rays and Angels in watching Martinez, 37, who is still a free agent after finishing his contract with the Mets last year. The Yankees agreed to watch Martinez because they already have a scout in the area.

The Yankees' primary need is relief pitching, but team officials are hopeful that they can solve the problem internally with Brian Bruney, Phil Coke and possibly Phil Hughes. Moreover, relief options such as Houston's Jose Valverde and Colorado's Huston Street aren't available yet.

Joe: No hard feelings

Joe Girardi said he was eager to make his first trip to the Marlins' ballpark since he was fired as Florida skipper in October 2006 after going 78-84 and ruffling feathers in the front office.

"I have good feelings," Girardi said. "I had an enjoyable year there. People want to look at the end all the time, but for me managing my first year, it was very enjoyable. There were a lot of good times, with the players, seeing them grow as human beings and as players . . . some made the All-Star team."

Jeter still sits

Derek Jeter (ankle) was held out for a second night. He pinch hit with the bases loaded and grounded out to end the seventh.

Rest A-Rod?

Could struggling Alex Rodriguez be given a day off? Girardi admitted that the third baseman is "physically probably not running as well as he was last year, but he's fairly close . . . Right now, I don't have any plans [for a rest] because we're in a stretch of six games and we have a day off scheduled on Monday. But if we feel he needs one, I won't hesitate to give him one." One player who could see more time on the trip to Florida and Atlanta is Brett Gardner, who stole two bases pinch-running for Mark Teixeira in the ninth inning on Wednesday. "We want to keep him in the mix," Girardi said. "We think he's played pretty well. He got off to a kind of slow start . . . but he can do some different things and create a lot of havoc."

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