Yesterday we looked at all the potential options to replace Derek Jeter at shortstop. Today, we move to third base where we discuss Alex Rodriguez‘s return and if the Yankees should try to keep Chase Headley in order to move Rodriguez elsewhere.
After the final pitch of the 2014 World Series, the Yankees will officially have Alex Rodriguez back on the roster. Some would figure he would slot right into third base and that would be the end of the Yankees troubles at the position. But with Rodriguez’s return, there is a ton of uncertainty. Rodriguez hasn’t played a Major League game since 2013, he’s 40-years-old and he’s had a history of hip injuries. The Yankees haven’t committed to slotting Rodriguez back at third but the Yankees also don’t have a true third basemen if Rodriguez can’t play. So what should the Yankees do? Well believe it or not, the answer to this question was on the 2014 roster and he’s currently a free agent.
The Yankees traded away one of their promising bats in Yangervis Solarte to the San Diego Padres for third basemen Chase Headley. The Yankees had wanted Headley in the past, but for 2014 he was simply a rental. Yes he was a rental, but he was a very productive rental; he hit .262/.371/.398 in 58 games with the Yankees. Brian Cashman described Headley’s glove as “average” but Headley’s glove was well above that. There was also some magic in his bat when it came to late game situations; his first ever game as a Yankee resulted in him hitting a walk-off single to send the Yankees to victory.
Headley proved he was a perfect fit for the Yankees, but with Headley hitting free agency, could the Yankees and Headley see eye-to-eye with the hopes of signing a new deal?
Headley expressed his interest in returning to the Yankees, but he also said he wanted to have a chance to play every day. With Alex Rodriguez in the picture, you would think there would be no room for Headley. However, there’s still a way to keep Headley and have A-Rod’s bat in the lineup without sacrificing the other. The Yankees could always have Rodriguez as the primary DH, and Headley as the everyday third basemen, with Rodriguez playing only when Headley needs a day. Rodriguez could also get work in at first base.
If Chase Headley decides he doesn’t want to return, Martin Prado could play third, but the point is Rodriguez won’t be playing all 162 games. He’s old, he doesn’t have the range he once had when he was 25 and as he gets older he needs to begin to wean himself off the diamond. Signing Headley could help the Yankees begin the transition process, but if they don’t sign Headley there will only be so much more uncertainty surrounding the Yankees at third base.
Tomorrow: We move to left field where we discuss Brett Gardner and some of the potential options for that position.