Around The Diamond: Third Base

Alex Rodriguez 10

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. 

 

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13 Responses to Around The Diamond: Third Base

  1. hotdog says:

    The Yankees would be making it clear to Arod that his duties would be almost exclusively as a DH…even though Arod doesn't have the range of a younger player and has a recent history of hip ailments, I would imagine he still has the skills to be a 3rd baseman for 80-100 games if he stays healthy…now that's a gamble for sure but something tells me the Yankees are going to sit still with Headley…i can see the Yankees signing bits and pieces this off-season to fill some needs but nothing like the spending we saw last year…i believe they'll feel that they have a team that should win and to spend money on another big free agent (not talking Headley here) won't be in the cards…what they should be doing is buying smart…Headley would be a smart buy…

  2. Balt Yank says:

    I don't see why Prado should not play third as we have a good rookie at 2B? The idea of having a supersub is only a good idea when a team has good regular players (not us next year). Its a no brainer.

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      To be honest, the Yankees really signed Prado to be a 2B. Refnsyder and Pirela can battle for the position in Spring Training but I think the Yankees would be better off keeping Prado at 2B and re-signing Chase Headley. They basically can give him what he wants since all Headley is asking for is playing time.

      • sjf says:

        i would be willing to block the kids at 2b if it meant adding a true difference maker to the team, but is that really what we have in prado headley? to sign headley for this purpose is to spend about $10 million a year for what is, at best, a marginal difference. again, not against big signings but they should be limited to players who are significantly better than whats already in the system.

  3. Robert Rufa says:

    Signing Headley and making him the everyday third baseman is the only thing that makes sense. NY has to start nailing down some spots so they know where the holes actually are. With Prado at second, that would settle half the infield at least.

  4. hotdog says:

    I realize you can't have all-stars at every position but how about 1 or 2…Prado makes sense, Headley makes sense, maybe even Drew makes sense…add Tex at 1st, Arod as DH and an outfield of Ellsbury, Suzuki and Gardner and McCann behind the plate…that's a lot of mediocrity…i figure, if we're going with mediocrity, give guys a chance that have a better upside like Refsynder and Pirela and any other prospect that are close to ready…

  5. Balt Yank says:

    OK. I can see signing Headley for 3B, Drew for SS, Prado at 2B, and then if this Rob Refs is really good, he can backup the OF / 2B or play some more Triple A. However, Headley should not be signed for more than 2 @ 14 total. Maybe 2 @ 20 but that's generous. "Sweet dreams are made of these…"

    • Not arguing, but I'm just pointing out that Headley will easily make more than 2/14 or 2/20. It's hard to say exactly how much more considering he was a bit inconsistent last year (before he joined the Yankees) and had back problems. Still, if I'm him I start by asking for 4/60 or 5/75 and work from there.

      • hotdog says:

        i could see his agent asking for that but i don't see him getting there…i think the 2 year deal may be all the Yankees go for but who really knows…if the Yankees are hot and heavy for him, sure, 3 years could do it…

      • olie says:

        You are right Rob, If the Yanks are going to sign Headley,(Which they should) why would they not offer a longer deal!

        • hotdog says:

          maybe because they are tired of going out 4 or 5 years for .250 hitters with modest power…good glove but why lock the guy up for so long…is he that good that the Yankees should offer him a 4-5 year contract…i don't think they need too…3 years max is a strong commitment to Headley and if the Yankees need to go out 5 years to nab a guy who has averaged below .250 is his last 1,000 at bats, they are not buying smart…bring in Headley but do it at the right price and length…Headley is inconsistent, his obp was great for the Yankees but there's a history tailing downwards and that should not make him a 5 year man…

          • For the record, I wasn't saying that the Yankees should give him a 5 year deal or that he will get one, but that he probably will start out by asking for one. Unless he really wants to stay with the Yankees and just told them, 'sign me.' Not sure that will happen. Maybe 4/48 is reasonable? Or 3/39? Seems a little low considering right handed power is at a premium right now.

          • hotdog says:

            i know…i just hope the Yankees add some good players at reasonable lengths…

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