Potential Options to Fill In For Injured Alex Rodriguez
Added by Gregg Snyder on July 25, 2012.
Alex Rodriguez suffered a broken hand after being hit by a pitch from Seattle's Felix Hernandez.
The injury bug continues to hit the New York Yankees, and hard. Not many teams would be able to handle losing names like, Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain, Andy Pettitte, and now Alex Rodriguez. So far however, the Yankees have been able to do just that and remain comfortably in first place in the American League East.
Rodriguez is the latest big name to go down. He suffered a broken hand after being hit by a pitch from Seattle Mariners starter Felix Hernandez last night. While not having a typical ‘A-Rod’ season, he had what most would call a good season going, batting .276 with 15 home runs.
Now, the Yankees must figure out a plan for someone to fill in at third base for the estimated 4-8 weeks that Rodriguez will be out. Eric Chavez will likely see an immediate increase in playing time initially. While he has done an excellent job this season backing up the corner infield positions, I don’t think the Yankees want to see Chavez be required to play every day.
Of course the Yankees could look internally. Eduardo Nunez is an option they will likely look at. He is currently working his way back from injury but once healthy, Nunez would be an option. I’m sure that doesn’t make most Yankees fans excited as Nunez had been having a horrendous year in the field before being send to the minors. For the time being, the Yankees have called up Ramiro Pena. Pena is up mostly due to the injury to Nick Swisher as well. He can play both the infield and outfield, so his versatility was what the Yankees need until further help can be acquired.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he would take a look at the trade market for a third baseman. Don’t expect any monster names but there are some options Cashman will likely at least make a call on.
Headley’s name was quickly thrown around all over sports talk shows once A-Rod went down. This would be more of a long term option however as Headley is just 28 years old and is under contract with the Padres through 2014. In order to make this type of move, the Yankees would need to see Alex Rodriguez as a full time DH when he returns. Headley is currently batting .268 with 11 home runs for San Diego. He is making just $3.48 million this season.
Yes, the Phillies just signed Cole Hamels to a monster contract. That’s for the long term future. Currently, the Phils could still look to rid themselves of some veterans these next six days leading up to the trade deadline. Polanco is having a down year in Philadelphia but is a guy that plays the game the right way and plays hard. He could be a small-ball spark for the Yankees and fill in at third until A-Rod comes back, then all over the infield after. He earns $6.25 million this season and has a mutual $5.5 million option for 2013. If Philly is looking to deal, the Yankees should take a look.
To me, those are the two options that make any type of sense. I don’t know that I would go to the Padres likely high asking price for Headley however. Polanco could be a nice fit for the Yankees. After that, the Rays may have some infielders they would be willing to deal, although I’m not sure if a deal with the Yankees would be something they would consider. And, I’m not sure players like Sean Rodriguez or Jeff Keppinger are really worth it for the Yankees.
Ty Wigginton seems to always have his name thrown around at the trade deadline. He is a player that can play multiple infield positions as well.
Third base is a tough position to find a true impact player. The most likely situation right now is to expect a rotation of Chavez and Jayson Nix, with Pena backing up all over the field. Once Nunez is ready, if the Yankees have not made a deadline move, he could be back to fill in as well.