TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter knows what Mariano Rivera's big secret is, but the Yankees captain isn't saying.
Following a workout at the club's Himes Avenue Minor League complex on Wednesday, Jeter said that he has spoken to Rivera about his recent decision, but the shortstop wasn't prepared to reveal anything.
"I talked to Mo," Jeter told reporters. "You're not going to get anything from me about Mo. Mo told you what he wanted to tell you; he'll share his thoughts and opinions with you when he's ready."
Rivera said earlier this week that he reached a decision about his baseball future about two or three weeks ago, but had only told his family about it. That apparently includes his fellow remaining "Core Four" member.
"That's what we are," Rivera said.
Jeter said that he hopes observers will be able to focus on Rivera's on-field play and not be distracted by his future plans. Rivera is entering the final season of a two-year, $30 million contract with the Yankees.
"You appreciate him while he's here," said Jeter, who will report to camp with the club's position players on Friday. "I think everyone should just focus on that, as opposed to if and when he's going to retire."
Roster far from set, even with addition of Chavez
TAMPA, Fla. -- Bringing Eric Chavez to camp figures to lock up most of the remaining roster spots for position players, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi does not want to call off the competitions just yet.
"You're still trying to find guys in Spring Training, because you've got to prepare in case someone gets hurt," Girardi said. "I still look at it the same way."
Chavez should take a backup role at the corner infield spots, and Eduardo Nunez is in line as a backup middle infielder who can also see time at other positions.
Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez are on the bench as spare outfielders and as the club's platoon at designated hitter, and Girardi has said that he sees Francisco Cervelli as the front-runner for the backup catcher job.
That creates an uphill climb for non-roster invitees like Russell Branyan and Bill Hall, as well as returning names like Chris Dickerson, Justin Maxwell and others. Girardi said that there is plenty of time for things to change.
"They're going to get a fair shake to try to make this club," Girardi said. "We'll have to make some decisions, but I don't see why someone couldn't play their way on. I don't want anyone ever coming in our camp like they don't have a chance."
Girardi stands ground on choices in 2010
TAMPA, Fla. -- Two years ago, with the ailing Yankees fading in their September race with the Rays for the American League East title, Joe Girardi passionately defended his decisions and said he was still trying to win games.
Here in spring 2012, nothing has changed. Girardi said that he is bothered by the perception that the Yankees were not trying their hardest late in 2010, when his club settled for the AL Wild Card before sweeping the Twins in the first round of the playoffs.
"When it comes out that way, it's almost like we weren't trying to win games," Girardi said. "When have you ever known me not to try to win a game? We had people hurt, and we had to get them healthy."
In discussing how a second Wild Card would help the game, general manager Brian Cashman said earlier this week that the 2010 Yankees were "Exhibit A," noting how the Yankees "conceded" the AL East because there was no benefit to winning their division.
"The division title, the way that Wild Card situation was sitting, was rendered meaningless the way the setup was," Cashman said on Sunday. "It rendered whether you were a Wild Card or a division champ, it really meant nothing more than a T-shirt and a hat."
Girardi said that he never conceded the division, but defended his moves in that he was trying to rest injured players like Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher to get them ready for the playoffs. The Yankees swept Minnesota before falling to the Rangers in a six-game AL Championship Series.
"If it's in the month of May and a guy has to sit down for a week because he's hurt, no one says, 'You're taking your foot off the gas,'" Girardi said. "Because it was in September, it was perceived that we weren't trying to win, but that's not the case. I was trying to win every game; I wanted home-field advantage, I wanted to win our division. But ... we were banged up."
Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain threw from a half-mound on Wednesday, and manager Joe Girardi said that he was pleased with how the ball came out of the hurler's hand. "I thought mechanically he looked very sound," Girardi said. "I didn't think that he was tentative at all."
With exhibition games approaching, a selection of younger players were tabbed to pitch batting practice on Wednesday, which is somewhat ahead of schedule for camp. Manny Banuelos, Cesar Cabral, D.J. Mitchell and Dellin Betances all faced hitters.
Girardi said that he does not view a second left-hander as a necessity, but that it could have been valuable at times last season, when Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano were injured. Lefties competing in camp are: Cabral, Juan Cedeno, Mike O'Connor and Clay Rapada.