Yankees Third Base: Chase Headley, Not Alex Rodriguez
Yankees fans have heard it before. Alex Rodriguez is the Yankees best option at third base. But if that is the case, why are they already forming a back up plan?
“I think it’s best to assume that we should have contingencies in place,” Brian Cashman said, according to MLB.Com. “I don’t think it’s safe to assume that he can play third base. Obviously Alex has been a third baseman in years gone by. He missed, obviously, a full year.”
Think about this for a moment. Rodriguez has not yet taken one spring training ground ball, and Cashman is already uncertain if he can get the job done at third. Is he merely cautious due to the rash of injuries the Yankees have endured the last two seasons, or is there something he knows that he is holding back?
Of course, it´s a definite plus that Cashman and the Yankees are being proactive. But with the shortage of alternatives available on the market, it is interesting that the Yankees are considering moving him before they see him in action, even if the plan is just to provide insurance at first behind Mark Teixeira.
Whether you are an A-Rod backer or not, the unfortunate scenario is if his contract dictates that he begins the season as the Yankees starting third baseman. The question is, if that becomes the case, what will the situation look like at the end of the season? This is where things get sticky. Obviously, Chase Headley wants to play. He probably is not interested in being the Yankees Plan B if Rodriguez, with his hip surgeries and near 40 years, doesn´t work out at third.
So the Yankees should start the season the way it is likely to end up, make Rodriguez the DH and let him back up Teixeira and Headley in the field. Let Headley know now that the position is his. Do it before it is too late.
Remember, Headley provided a number of big hits in 2014. And it was only two years ago that he won the Siver Slugger and the Gold Glove. That was the season he had 31 home runs and 115 RBI, which resulted in his fifth-place finish in the National League MVP.
That puts him in a similar situation as Martin Prado, primed to resurrect his career. So that may be exactly what Cashman is thinking.