Yankees Face Big Question Mark At Third
With Alex Rodriguez‘s year-long ban about to expire, the Yankees will have a big question mark at third base.
For one thing, A-Rod has played a total of just 44 Major League games over the last two years. He is also coming off two major hip surgeries, and is going on 40 years of age. So the question is, how will A-Rod possibly be able to handle the demanding duties of playing third base on a regular basis? If people thought that the Yankees already had the answer, and knew exactly what to do with A-Rod, those thoughts were put to rest with owner Hal Steinbrenner, and GM Brian Cashman both publicly stating that it’s wrong to assume that A-Rod can just go right back to being the third baseman he used to be.
Because of this uncertainty surrounding his ability to play the position, coupled with the health problems first baseman Mark Teixeira has suffered from over the part two seasons, the Yankees have made it clear that they’re willing to try A-Rod at the far less demanding position of first, should the situation present itself. The most likely scenario however, is A-Rod becoming the full-time DH, as many see his bat as potentially being the only valuable part of his game left. There’s no question he’s going to be a big part of the team (seeing as the Yankees are stuck with him). The only question is in what way?
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Another option for the Yankees at the hot corner is Chase Headley. The Yankees acquired Headley from the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline, and he shined on the big stage, making terrific play, after terrific play at third, while batting a respectable .262 with 6 homers, and 17 RBI in 58 games with the team. Headley is now a free agent, and will definitely garner lots of interest from other teams, most notably the Red Sox, as reported by CBS Sports. Headley has stated publically that he enjoyed his time in New York, and would be open to returning, but that he wants to be an every day player. Headley will likely be looking for a multi-year contract, and the Yankees situation with A-Rod could prevent them from making that kind of offer. However, reports suggest that they do in fact have interest in retaining him, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Another option for the Yankees at third is soon-to-be free agent, Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval will be one of the biggest free agents on the market this off-season. There will be a lot of competition for him, competition that also reportedly includes the Red Sox, but with the Yankees’ reputation for signing big free agents, there’s definitely reason to believe they could end up signing him.
One more option is current Yankee, Martin Prado. Prado can be used virtually anywhere in the field, however, he is most skilled at third base, seeing as that is where he’s spent the most time playing in his career. Plus, with the Yankees likely to hold a spring training competition for the second base job between Jose Pirela, and Rob Refsnyder, that increases the chances all the more that Prado could end up there, if the Yankees don’t end up signing Sandoval, or Headley.
So with the off-season almost underway, we will likely learn within the upcoming months what exactly the Yankees intend to do at third base in 2015.