Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - If there was ever any doubt that Alex
Rodriguez is still a big deal, well the first day of the Winter Meetings in
the vast Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee surely reaffirmed those
The New York Yankees normally dominate the conversation at these meetings and
that was certainly the case on Monday, but not in the way they are accustomed
Instead of shelling out a boatload of money for the free agent du jour, the
Yankees announced that Rodriguez will need an arthroscopic procedure to repair
a torn labrum and bone impingement in his left hip, while also correcting a
cyst. It is similar, but not identical, to the right hip surgery he underwent
in March 2009.
And of course, in typical A-Rod fashion, the events surrounding this injury
are a bit bizarre. According to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman,
Rodriguez first brought the hip to manager Joe Girardi's attention after Raul
Ibanez pinch-hit for him in the ALDS. However, he thought the problem was with
his right hip, but an MRI came back clean and the Yankees continued business
In actuality, though, it was his left hip that was the problem. And probably
the reason he hit a mere .120 this postseason.
How the doctors were unable to detect that is beyond me, but then again what
do I know? Even more amazing was the fact that Rodriguez was able to go to the
hospital during the playoffs without anyone knowing.
As bad as the $114 million remaining on his contract seemed back in October,
it's far worse today for a 37-year-old player who was already declining and
will now have had two hip surgeries when he takes the field in 2013.
It also just reaffirms just how old this Yankees club is. Let's not forget
shortstop Derek Jeter might not be ready for the start of the season either
after the broken foot he sustained in the playoffs.
Cashman also signed Hiroki Kuroda, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte - three
players whose average age will be 40 on Opening Day - to deals totaling $37
million for the coming season.
The logical in-house option to replace Rodriguez is Eduardo Nunez, who was
already being counted on to fill in for Jeter. Nunez was one of the few bright
spots offensively for the Yankees this past postseason, but he plays the field
as if his hands are on fire.
Cashman, though, stated at a press conference on Monday that he doesn't
envision Nunez in a third base role at the moment.
Veteran Eric Chavez has been marvelous as a fill-in for Rodriguez the past
few years, but he has injury concerns of his own, especially if he has to play
every day. Plus Chavez was so good as a bench player last year he may have
priced himself out of the Yankees plans for the upcoming season.
There was already talk that the Yankees were going hard after shortstop
Stephen Drew and that will continue. But now they'll also likely engage
discussions with Brandon Inge and possibly Kevin Youkilis.
New York could also look to make a deal. San Diego toyed with the idea of
moving third baseman Chase Headley at last year's deadline, but he was as good
as any player in the league in the final two months of the season. The Yankees
aren't rich with prospects at the moment, though, and chances are Headley's
not going anywhere.
Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera could also be had, but that would open a
whole other can of worms with Jeter that Cashman is not yet ready to deal
Just another day at the office for the Yankees.
The Sports Network