Possibilities For A First Base Upgrade
By Tim McFadden
Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
Another internal candidate that is being mentioned as a possible upgrade at first base is Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod didn’t play at all in 2014 after being suspended by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis scandal. Rodriguez started his career as a shortstop with the Mariners and Rangers before moving to third base after a trade to the Yankees in 2004. His offensive production during his career almost insures his entry into the Hall of Fame when his career is over.
Rodriguez is one of the most athletically gifted people ever to put on a major league uniform. He has been a solid defender at both shortstop and third base. If healthy, he is one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the game. His career numbers are outstanding: .299 average, 654 home runs, 1939 RBI, a major league record 24 career grand slams, 2939 hits, three 50 home run seasons. He has shown that he is capable of adapting to position changes.
There are downsides to this as a solution, however. Rodriguez is going to turn 40 midseason. He hasn’t played since his suspension. He has been dealing with injuries regularly since 2008. There are questions about how much the organization really wants to even have him on the roster. There are also questions about how productive a 40 year old who has never played first base can be.