Cashman knows as a general manager you field calls for trades of players all the time, but cautioned everyone that a deal for the lighting rod that is A-Rod is not totally realistic.
The Yankees senior vice president and GM was interviewed on ESPN radio on Sunday and had the following comments posted on MLB.com regarding the question of a possible trade of his third baseman. "It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything," said Cashman. "You're talking about realistic stuff and unrealistic stuff. I don't think it's realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base. above-average third baseman. … That means despite the contract that we had committed to him, that he's an asset at this stage still. I don't see us doing anything there. I don't anticipate it. If someone wants to make phone calls, we're more than willing to do all that stuff with any of our players, and that's fine. You can run into something that way."
A-Rod was first pinch hit for in the ALDS against Baltimore where Raul Ibanez hit a tying and game winning home runs to help advance the Yankees to the ALCS. After that first successful benching Pandora's box opened the flood gates to allow manager Joe Girardi to continue to have the same approach if needed. Rodriguez was awful against right handed pitching this year batting .256 with 86 strikeouts. Alex continued that trend in the playoffs going 0-for-12 with nine strikeouts against the Orioles in the ALDS. In limited at-bats against the Detroit Tigers in the championship series he went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts.
Since his best post season in Pinstripes in 2009, when he literally carried the Bombers himself to their 27th World Series Championship, Rodriguez has regressed over the last three post seasons batting a combined .150 going 12-for-75 with 24 strikeouts.
Father time is catching up with Rodriguez pretty quickly when next season he will be 38 years old. It certainly isn't necessarily the age, look at the year Derek Jeter had this year, it's the wear and tear on his body which seems to be breaking down.
"Do I expect him to return to the MVP-caliber-type Alex Rodriguez? No," Cashman said. "Obviously you decline with age, and he's getting up there in his age. … So no, that would be very unrealistic to think as well. But despite the age where he's at, he's still an above-average player at that position."
Cashman is right Rodriguez is still an above average third baseman and with no one quite ready to come up from the minors he still can pick it at the hot corner. For how long is the key before he becomes their full fledged DH at some point with in the next five years he has left on his contract.
Rodriguez's bat speed has diminished and so has the power numbers, but he still is a .300 hitter and if he can get himself in better shape this winter will still be a bat worth keeping. Like A-Rod said after the loss to the Tigers, he needs to play up to his capability so no one ever thinks about benching him again.
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