As if things couldn’t get more complicated for the New York Yankees, there is news that Major League Baseball will be suspending third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 100 games for his connection to Biognesis. This is obviously not a new development as it has been rumored for weeks now that Bud Selig would seek the highest possible penalty for Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun among other players.
Rodriguez is currently rehabbing from his second hip surgery and the Yankees, despite their contentious relationship with the former MVP, were looking forward to adding Rodriguez’s bat to the lineup. Earlier this off-season the Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis to fill in temporarily for Rodriguez but Youkilis succumbed to a herniated disc in his back and could be out for the rest of the year. With the trade deadline quickly approaching GM Brian Cashman will have to decide quickly whether or not to seek a right-handed hitting third baseman or hope that Rodriguez will come back healthy and suspension free.
The trade market is still developing and will likely keep developing all the way up to the 3 P.M. non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st which will make Cashman’s job difficult. If there is a chance Rodriguez will be suspended then Cashman must upgrade the Yankees’ situation at third base. So far, the Yankees have trotted out Youkilis, Jayson Nix, David Adams, Alberto Gonzalez, Chris Nelson and Luis Cruz at the hot corner this season and have even used Vernon Wells there as well for an inning.
There are a few names that have been mentioned already this season like Michael Young and Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez is likely not an option since the 35-year-old is signed through the 2014 season for $20 million with a mutual option for 2015 and $4 million buyout. Ramirez is also on the disabled list with a knee injury, the same knee that put him on the shelf for a month earlier this year.
Young is probably the best fit for the Yankees since he can play some third base and can man first if needed as well. Will the Philadelphia Phillies decide to become sellers is the big question right now as well as what Young would cost in return.
Rodriguez and his Biogenesis link has been the elephant in the room for some time now and it now appears as if the elephant is about to ruin the party. There are a couple of options available on the cheap including Russ Canzler who was signed by the Yankees this past off-season before being released to make room for Travis Hafner. Canzler is only 27-years-old and has some experience at third but has never played it in the Majors.
Ty Wigginton is another potential option who recently became a free agent after being released by the St. Louis Cardinals but at 35-years-old there are questions as to how much he has left in the tank.
Canzler might be the best option for the Yankees right now since he wouldn’t cost anything except a minimal contract. He can play first, third and the outfield and is a right-handed bat that the Yankees need right now. They can sign Canzler and, if Young becomes available, trade for the veteran and platoon Canzler and Young and rotate the two at first base with Lyle Overbay as well as DH.