Monday, December 15, 2014

Cashman: Using A-Rod as DH Yankees' 2015 Plan

That they signed Chase Headley to a four-year/$52 million deal Monday certainly makes it seem the Yankees don't want to start Alex Rodriguez at a defensive position next season, but apparently that's been their plan all along. 

Team GM Brian Cashman revealed so in an interview with NBC New York's Sports Final early Monday morning, hours before the Headley news broke. Cashman said the circumstances surrounding the 39-year-old has led the Yankees to prefer using him as a DH instead, a decision that appears to be smart considering Rodriguez hasn't played since 2013. 

And that wasn't everything Cashman talked about during the discussion, with the executive also elaborating on the club's expectations for him.

“You know,” Cashman said, per's Brendan Kuty, “I’m going to go into this thing looking at him less at third, more at DH, given his age, given his situation where he’s missed a full year. I think expecting the least and hoping for the most is the right approach for the general manager of the Yankees to take."

The Yankees are set to pay Rodriguez $21 million next year, so that's probably not something they want to do. Their offense already contains a few guys on the decline, namely Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira. 

Nonetheless, since Rodriguez hasn't spent more than a month on the field in three seasons, it doesn't look they have much of a choice, good as the veteran's been in the past. 

"The production we can get would be a benefit from him," Cashman said. "But in terms of what we can or should expect right now, I think we have to keep that bar low and hopefully he can surprise us."

It's currently unknown where the retaining of Headley puts Rodriguez in the Yankees' batting order, though he's likely near the bottom of it. 

Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Martin Prado are expected to occupy the first three spots, while Teixeira, Headley and Brian McCann fill out the middle ones. Therefore, it's a safe bet Rodriguez will be somewhere in the 7-9 region, possibly in between Beltran and Didi Gregorius.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)