So, it looks like Major League Baseball is going to drop the hammer on 12 players connected to the Biogenisis clinic tomorrow. The MLB’s main target is New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
MLB is looking to suspend Rodriguez for around 214 games according to various reports by T.J. Quinn of ESPN. That will mean that the Yankees will not see A-Rod until the start of the 2015 season when he will be 40 years old and in his 21st season.
In hindsight, this will save the Yankees about $34 million if A-Rod is suspended which they may be able to use to shore up some holes, but have you seen the group of third basemen the Yankees have sent out on the field this year? Well, it is not pretty.
Look at the names that have manned the position: David Adams, Jayson Nix, Chris Nelson, Luis Cruz and Brent Lillibridge. Combined, they’ve hit .215 with four home runs and 32 RBIs on the year. When they learned that they will be without A-Rod for an extended time, the Yankees went on to sign Kevin Youkilis to cover the hot corner. Youkilis went on to get hurt as well and before he hit the disabled list, he had minimal contributions with a .266, two home runs and seven RBIs in 79 at-bats.
In one of his worst seasons of his career, which was last season, A-Rod hit .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs with an on-base percentage of .353 and slugging percentage of .430. At his worst, A-Rod is still vastly superior than any other third baseman the Yankees have employed so far this season. In a time when the Yankees are desperate for any type of production from the hot corner, A-Rod may be on the way out of the season altogether before making his highly anticipated start tomorrow in Chicago versus the White Sox.
At first, it looked like the Yankees were glad to have A-Rod off the field while the insurance company covered his salary and it looked like they were trying to do anything in their power to make it stay that way or to find a way to somehow get out from under his massive contract. As they sit in fourth place and nine and a half games out of firts place in the East and four and a half games out of a wild-card spot, the Yankees are desperate for his help. Manager Joe Girardi even went so far as to say he has Rodriguez ‘pencilled’ in the lineup for tomorrow’s game.
The Yankees may have lost Mark Teixeira for the season, but the stars are on the way back as Derek Jeter rejoined the team last week and Curtis Granderson came off the DL on Friday and quickly hit a two-run shot on Saturday, now it seemed like it was A-Rod’s turn to make his season début tomorrow which might spark the Yankee offense and make a run as the season wears down.
Now, the Yankees season may lie in the hands of A-Rod, the player they wanted to get rid of, their embattled superstar who has had many fights with GM Brian Cashman. A-Rod looks to be dying to get back on the field with his Yankee teammates and has looked pretty good the last couple of rehab games at Double-A Trenton as he has hit a couple of home runs and has drawn many walks which is a good sign that he might be seeing the ball well.
The decision ultimately lies in the hands of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig as he looks to strike hard in the fight against P.E.D.s, but the Yankees can only hope he doesn’t drop the hammer on A-Rod as their season hangs in the balance.