After having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip on January 16, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was expected to be out until the All-Star break.
However, general manager Brian Cashman indicated during a Friday radio interview with WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts that his star third baseman could be out even longer, and may not suit up at all during the 2013 season.
“Yeah,” Cashman replied when asked if Rodriguez might miss the entire 2013 campaign. “I think because (of) the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance.”
Cashman has been cautiously optimistic on Rodriguez’s return throughout the offseason, originally speaking of a four-to-six month timetable, which would have put the slugger back in the Yankees lineup in June. Immediately following the surgery, the statement from the team indicated that Rodriguez would miss six months, and Brian Cashman first hinted that it could be longer when he stated, “there’s no guarantees in this stuff.”
“Best case scenario, yeah he should be back,” Cashman told Benigno and Roberts during Friday’s interview. “Worst case scenario he won’t be back, or there might be something in between.” Cashman noted that if Rodriguez does not make it back in 2013, it certainly would not be the fault of the 37-year-old third baseman.
Rodriguez hit for a .272 average with 18 homers and 57 RBIs in 122 games played for the Yankees last season. However, he struggled mightily in the playoffs, hitting just .120 (3-for-25) with no RBIs in the playoffs, and was 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers. Rodriguez was benched multiple times in the postseason for left-handed hitting Eric Chavez.
The Yankees signed former Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis to a one-year, $12 million deal in December to replace A-Rod during the first half of the season, and then serve as the designated hitter after Rodriguez’s return. Eduardo Nunez, who has seen time at third base in the past, is currently expected to begin the season as the team’s designated hitter.
Shortly after Rodriguez’s injury was revealed in December, it was reported that the Yankees had taken insurance on his ten-year, $275 million contract signed in 2007 after winning the American League MVP award. ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews indicated that Rodriguez would have to miss “at least a full season” for the Yankees to recoup at least 75 percent of the $114 million still owed on his contract. If Rodriguez does miss the whole season, it will be interesting to see if Yankees ownership tries to invoke the insurance policy as they head closer and closer to the self-imposed $189 million spending cap for 2014.
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