Brian Cashman says Alex Rodriguez is the New York Yankees best option at third base. Is this assessment accurate or a mere delusion? And is it time to find a better option at General Manager?
“Ultimately, from a baseball operations standpoint, taking out all the areas of controversy, having Alex Rodriguez man third base is obviously by far the best option for the Yankees than what the alternatives would be in theory,” Cashman said.
Really, Brian? Well, here is what ARod has done in the past three seasons:
In 2011, he batted .276 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI.
In 2012, he batted .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI.
In 2013, he hit .244 with seven home runs and 19 RBI.
Making matters worse, in his last 10 games in 2013, Rodriguez produced only three hits in 34 at bats for a .088 average. Whether it’s due to re-aggravation of his injury or not, the Yankees need someone else at third if they are going to bounce back.
And the sooner that Cashman comes to this realization, the sooner something can be done about it. Certainly, he can’t be leaning on ARod’s post-season heroics. Yankees fans would be hard-pressed to come up with many of those.
What is most disconcerting is the attitude that the Yankees will just have to accept the situation they are in at third base. The outlook for going after Jhonny Peralta, Juan Uribe or Michael Young does not look good.
A healthy Kevin Youkilis is a better solution. And Eduardo Nunez did come on strong at the end of the season. Overall, Nunez batted .260 with three home runs and 28 RBI in 2013. Compare those to ARod’s 2013 numbers above. Nunez batted .310 in his last ten games. So he is also a better option.
Here is another suggestion. Move Derek Jeter to third and let Brendan Ryan stay at short. While Ryan’s offensive output needs improvement, perhaps a full spring training working with Kevin Long would give that a boost. That assumes, of course, that Long is still with the team. Also, of course, Derek would have a say in the matter.
In any case, it’s time to admit that Rodriguez is not going to get the Yankees where they want to go, even if he is around. And the Yankees don’t need to just accept where they are at third base. They need to do something about it. Sure there are challenges surrounding the situation, but that’s what a General Manager is for.