While admitting that he hasn’t seen enough of Alex Rodriguez recently to say for certain if he can still handle the job physically, manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees plan for him to be their third baseman next season.
However, the manager also told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Rodriguez is not guaranteed the starting job because “we have to see where he’s at” after sitting out the entire season on suspension.
Even before missing an entire season Rodriguez was showing major signs of decline and he’ll be 40 years old soon, but with three years and $61 million remaining on his contract the Yankees will try to figure out some way to get value from the three-time MVP.
Moving to first base isn’t an option because the Yankees owe Mark Teixeira another $45 million through 2016 and they may want to keep the designated hitter spot open for various elderly players to cycle through as they did this season. Chase Headley finished the season as the Yankees’ starting third baseman, hitting .262 with six homers and a .768 OPS in 58 games, but he’s an impending free agent.