Alex Rodriguez's Fantasy Value Plummets After Hip Surgery News

Joe KleiberCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2009

Things were looking up for Alex Rodriguez after he hit his first home run in spring training, but now things can't get much worse for the controversial New York Yankees slugger.

Rodriguez will be out until May with news breaking that he will undergo hip surgery for a cyst on his hip. This is terrible news for Rodriguez, the Yankees, and fantasy owners. Not only does he have the steroids controversy swirling around his head, but now a cyst? This is bad karma for him and the Yankees.

If you have already completed your fantasy draft and took Rodriguez in the top three, then you must be kicking yourself after this news. His draft stock now plummets and who knows when exactly he will be back?

The question now is where do you draft him? Does he fall to the third or fourth round?

I'd certainly stay away from him in the first round and probably the second too. Why take an injured player when you can pick a healthy player with no risks? I'd even take Chase Utley over him, because at least you know he's going to be back and probably on opening day.

This kills the values of Mark Texeira, who now has Hideki Matsui as his lineup protection instead of Rodriguez if that's the direction the Yankees were leaning towards. It also hurts the values of Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter since they will not be scoring as many runs early in the season.

While it's true that fantasy championships are not won in April or May, you still have to be cautious about taking the top Yankees players with this news. One does not know when exactly Rodriguez will return and how he will perform after the surgery.

The Yankees lineup is still dangerous, but clearly takes a huge hit now. The question is who is going to replace his big bat in the lineup?

The problem the Yankees have is they have no candidates to replace him. Right now they'd be forced to use Angel Berroa and Cody Ransom. I doubt the Yankees will use either of them any they will probably sign a guy like Ray Durham or Mark Grudzielanek and move them to third.

Clearly David Wright becomes the top third baseman and I would think Evan Longoria moves ahead of him too, because at least you know these players are healthy and will be productive all season