There is an old saying; "you don't know how good you have something until it's not there anymore." Apparently, the New York Yankees learned this in 2013 when Alex Rodriguez was out for most of the season recovering from injuries.
Rodriguez played in all of 44 games last season due to recovering from hip surgery in January and didn't get back to the Yankees until August 5. Rodriguez was originally supposed to come back to the team in late July, but because of a setback in the minors, Rodriguez's debut was delayed.
On Sunday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was a guest on the Ian Connor Show on ESPN Radio and talked about how important the 38-year-old third basemen is to the team, who is under contract for another four years and is currently fighting a 211-game suspension from Major League Baseball.
"If it comes down to, would we want the player we signed to be playing that position without any problems? Absolutely, no question about that," Cashman said. "I think if people think there's some sort of benefit by losing that talent, I mean, you can't replace it. It's not like, all right, well, Alex is gone. If he winds up getting suspended and it's upheld, how do you replace that? It's not like going down to a Home Depot and pulling something out that you need that's broke and you've got to fix it," Cashman said of replacing Rodriguez. "So ultimately from a baseball operations standpoint, taking out all the areas of controversy, having Alex Rodriguez man third base is obviously by far the best option for the Yankees than what the alternatives would be in theory."
The Yankees tried to replace Rodriguez with Kevin Youkilis as their starting third basemen, but back injuries hampered him all year and eventually, went down for the season with a herniated disc, which took him out in early June. The team tried to use other options at third, but could never find a decent option to be the steady third basemen, that was until Rodriguez made his return from the disabled list.
In the 44 games, Rodriguez hit .244 with seven home runs and 19 RBI and really solidified himself in the middle of the Yankees lineup and showed that he was still a legit threat to drive the ball when playing. A-Rod's average only tailed off because of a sore hamstring at the end of the season and was playing through pain until the end of the season.
The Yankees essentially would save $25 million this season if A-Rod didn't play this season if he had to serve the suspension, but many don't see him getting banned for the entire season and could only see him serving a 50 or 100 game ban if he were to receive one this winter.
Rodriguez has filed a suit against Major League Baseball for their "PED witch hunt," citing that baseball has attempted to ruin his career and tarnish his reputation and feel that the sport has gone out of their way to try and single him out in their attempt to go after players under suspicion of taking PED's.
photo credit: jkane352 via photobucket
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