New York Yankees: 5 Options for Third Base to Replace Alex Rodriguez

Doug RushSenior Analyst IDecember 3, 2012

New York Yankees: 5 Options for Third Base to Replace Alex Rodriguez

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    By now, we have all heard the news on Alex Rodriguez's latest injury.

    Buster Olney of ESPN broke the news that A-Rod will need surgery on his left hip to replace a torn labrum.

    "NYY just announced Alex Rodriguez will undergo a left hip arthroscopy to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst"

    —Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2012

    Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports announced that with the surgery, the 36-year-old will miss anywhere from four to six months.

    "#Yankees announce that Alex Rodriguez will undergo left hip arthroscopy in January and miss 4-to-6 months. @mlbonfox"

    —Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 3, 2012

    Now the Yankees have another hole in their lineup and in the field at third base.

    Plus, if and when A-Rod does return, is he even going to be an effective player in the Yankees lineup?

    What does Yankees' GM Brian Cashman do about filling the hole A-Rod has left for them?

    He could try to fill it internally with Eduardo Nunez, but I don't think he is likely to do that. With that kind of bat out in the lineup, he needs to make a move.

    Here are five options Cashman can look into for third base.

Kevin Youkilis

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    Roger Clemens. Wade Boggs. Johnny Damon.

    What do they all have in common? All are formerly important Red Sox players who went on to play for the Yankees.

    As crazy as it seems, Kevin Youkilis could make the jump as well.

    In fact, my fellow Bleacher Report colleague Rick Weiner wrote a very interesting story on why Youkilis would fit in the Bronx.

    He's 34 years old, and he has been on the decline over the last couple of seasons.

    However, he can play third, first and be a part-time DH in the lineup.

    Deep down, I think Youkilis ends up with the Indians and playing for his former manager Terry Francona, but that's just me guessing.

    I never thought I'd imagine Youkilis in pinstripes, but then again, did anyone ever think Clemens, Damon or Boggs would too?

Stephen Drew

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    Stephen Drew's name has come up several times in rumors for the Yankees.

    Former Reds/Nationals GM and current ESPN analyst Jim Bowden thinks that the Yankees might step up their efforts in pursuit for Drew with A-Rod on the shelf.

     

    With Alex Rodriguez having another hip surgery the Yankees will probably step up efforts on Stephen Drew for left side of infield

    — JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 3, 2012

    Drew has been primarily a shortstop in his career, and with Derek Jeter still on the team, the Yankees could transition Drew to a new spot.

    Drew hasn't played in a full season since 2010 when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    His best season came all the way back in 2008 when he hit 21 home runs and 67 RBI while batting .291.

    I'm not crazy on the idea of Drew for the Yankees and I personally think they could find a better option for third base.

Mark Reynolds

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    The Yankees got to see a lot of Mark Reynolds over the last two years, and they know what kind of damage he can do with a bat.

    The familiarity the Yankees have with Reynolds could make Brian Cashman interested in the former Orioles first and third baseman.

    Sure, Reynolds has lead the league in strikeouts, which will drive any fanbase completely insane.

    But nobody can dispute his power, and that might be something the Yankees look at when replacing A-Rod in the lineup and field.

    Just like Kevin Youkilis, Reynolds can play first base as well and give Mark Teixeira a day off.

    But does Cashman want another near-200 strikeout slugger in his lineup (Curtis Granderson)?

Ty Wigginton

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    I've always thought Ty Wigginton could fit into the Yankees lineup and be the perfect super-sub infielder to give A-Rod and Mark Teixeira days off.

    At best, Wigginton would be a 20 home run/70 RBI hitter, but we're not asking for A-Rod production in a replacement.

    Nobody on the market is going to give the Yankees 40/120 consistently, and it wouldn't be fair to ask that of any hitter coming in.

    But what Wigginton would give is some flexibility because he can play different positions. I doubt he would be looking for a long-term contract, as he was only signed by the Phillies on a one-year deal in 2012.

    Even if Eric Chavez doesn't come back, Wigginton could be a name to look at to take his spot on the team as well.

Scott Rolen

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    Scott Rolen, at age 38, is at the end of his major league career.

    In fact, it would not shock me one bit if he retired this winter.

    However, if he's looking to play one more season and potentially play for a contender, this is where the Yankees could fit in.

    He would probably only require a very cheap one-year deal to get signed, and he's still a very good fielding third basemen.

    He's not going to be the 30 home run/120 RBI guy he once was with the Cardinals.

    But he would be a nice veteran player to add to the Yankee lineup and clubhouse. Plus, I'd have Rolen mentor Eduardo Nunez on how to play the position.

    What better way for Nunez to learn his craft than from an eight-time Gold Glove winner?

Why I Didn't Include Chase Headley

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    I know a lot of you were waiting for Chase Headley to be on this list.

    And trust me, he originally was on it, but I took him off.

    Why? Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed today from a Padres official that Headley is not on the block.

     

    For those wondering about #Yankees obtaining Headley to replace A-Rod, #Padres official said this: "We're not going to move Headley."

    — Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 3, 2012

     

    Headley would have been the most obvious choice, considering he hit .286 with 31 home runs and 115 RBI for the Padres in 2012.

    But it looks like San Diego, for now at least, won't trade its top slugger.

    Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports thinks it's time for the Yankees to make that deal and trade for Headley.

     

    If they really want the 28-year-old, they're going to have to convince San Diego a lot more than usual to pry him away.

    Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.