The New York Yankees just lost one legend with Derek Jeter’s retirement, and now the return of their other perennial All-Star isn’t so certain either.
The Yankees are set to get Alex Rodriguez back next season as his year-long drug suspension comes to a conclusion, but those close to the team believe that he won’t be assured of a place on the field next year.
This season, the Yankees traded for third baseman Chase Headley, giving up rookie infielder Yangervis Solarte and minor league pitcher Rafael De Paula to the San Diego Padres.
Headley hit just.229 with 32 RBIs before coming to the Yankees, but improved to.262 and a.768 OPS with the Yankees as he continued to recover from a hernia surgery.
In the offseason, the Yankees re-signed Headley, meaning Alex Rodriguez has some competition for his position.
Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo noted that Headley appears to be holding onto the third base position until A-Rod can prove otherwise.
“Rodriguez will have to win his third base job after he returns from a 162-game suspension in spring training. Those who have seen A-Rod say he’s in tremendous shape and that the season off has helped his hip condition. Still, the Yankees are viewing him more as a DH until he proves otherwise. The Yankees may seek to protect themselves by re-signing Chase Headley.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi added that the team will have to evaluate Alex Rodriguez heavily going into next year to see how well his 39-year-old body is keeping up.
“He hasn’t played in a year,” Girardi said. “That’s not easy to do. I’ve got to see where he’s physically at, see from a playing standpoint where he’s at. Do we expect him to be a player on our team? Absolutely. Do we expect him to play third base? Yes. But in fairness, I think you have to see where he’s at.”
Other reports have said that the New York Yankees believe Alex Rodriguez will be a regular starter on the 2015 team, whether it be at DH or third base.