“One thing that starts all at the top with Joe (Girardi) and goes all the way to the bottom is that the team is a family,” Phelps told the New York Daily News in a phone interview. “The issue isn’t going to be player-to-player or coach-to-player. The circus is going to be what’s portrayed in the media, but that’s New York. It’s something you have to get used to playing there. I don’t think there’s going to be an issue between the players. He’s going to want to come back and help them win a championship.”
David Phelps was traded along with Martin Prado to the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones last week, and if there’s one person to credit for Phelps’s transition from the minors to the majors, it’s Rodriguez.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He’s an incredible teammate who went out of his way early in my career to help me out. My first couple outings, I’d be in the dugout or in the clubhouse and he would come over and pick my brain; things like, ‘Why did you throw this pitch in this situation?’ ” Phelps said. “Even when we were rehabbing in Trenton a couple years ago, he pulled me over and we talked about the business side of the game, protecting players’ rights, that kind of stuff. He’s incredibly intelligent on the field and with the business side of baseball. He has a lot to offer younger players.”
Although A-Rod has plenty to offer to young players, it’s questionable if he’ll offer plenty on the field after being away from the game for almost two years. The Yankees will figure it out when he arrives for Spring Training, but for now, Phelps is just grateful Rodriguez offered guidance in the beginning of his career.