MLB New York Yankees

5 Possibilities For New York Yankees If Alex Rodriguez Is Suspended

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5 Options If Alex Rodriguez Is Suspended

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees’ offseason has been full of headlines and mystery. From big-name free-agent acquisitions to the hopeful conclusion of the Alex Rodriguez saga, it has been a Yankee type of winter -- loud.

General manager Brian Cashman has had his hands full trying to piece together another Yankee team full of uncertainties, most of which will not become transparent right up until pitchers and catchers report. The Yankees still need to figure out who can fill their remaining two rotation spots, address their cluttered outfield, announce who will be the closer, and decide what to do at third base.

Of course, as a spectator, it is easy to point out what needs to be done and make a decision, but the Yankees' front office has one big variable that is delaying their plans, A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez has mastered an incredible talent, and that is being able to serve as a distraction without being physically present in a room. A-Rod has singled-handedly effected every Yankee decision this offseason.

Whether or not A-Rod is in pinstripes next year could completely alter the Yankees’ appearance in their rotation, bullpen and outfield. The debate is ongoing on whether the team would be better with or without him. Ultimately, I believe the Yankees would be better without him, because it opens up more options. Options are good.

There are endless possibilities as to what the Yankees could do with the relief they would inherit if A-Rod’s suspension is upheld, and here are five that I believe could benefit the team. Feel free to comment below with your own opinions.

Chris Raimondi is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @ChrisDRaimondi, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Alex Rodriguez Retires

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Rodriguez is facing a 211-game suspension, and for a 38 year old that is a very long time. A-Rod’s durability has been seriously doubted over the last several seasons, and if he is suspended the full amount of games proposed, one might wonder what, if any, desire to play he will have left after missing well over one season of baseball. This could be a long-shot, or maybe not, but I believe Rodriguez’s retirement would be the best-case scenario for the Yankees.

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4. Brett Gardner Can Be Re-Signed

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The Yankees have stated several times this offseason that they wish to keep Brett Gardner for the long term, and have him and Jacoby Ellsbury man their outfield for years to come, exploiting their skills into one of the most dynamic outfields in MLB. With Rodriguez gone, they could have left over money not only to sign starting pitching, but also re-sign Gardner and downplay the possibilities of a trade.

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3. Room Created In Lineup

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The Yankees owe Rodriguez $25 million in 2014. If he is eligible to play, they will play him as much as possible just for the fact that you’re not going to not play a $25 million guy. However, if he is gone, Girardi will have more flexibility as to how to utilize the DH spot, which will be crucial to the veteran team. Healthy or not, A-Rod will need that DH spot frequently, as will Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Derek Jeter and many more players. Without A-Rod, there is one less guy cluttering the aging lineup.

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2. Less Distractions

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

With Rodriguez gone, the Yankees won’t have to worry about the extra baggage he carries around with him. If A-Rod is on the team this upcoming season, questions will follow the team everywhere they go about not only his link to steroids, but the celebrity questions of who he’s dating. His performance will be more scrutinized than it ever has been, which will put more pressure on people like Joe Girardi and Cashman.

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1. Masahiro Tanaka Goes To New York

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

A-Rod being suspended will greatly increase the Yankees’ chances of luring Masahiro Tanaka to playing in New York. Simply, they will have more money to unload for the Japanese star. It is rumored that Tanaka will earn roughly $100 million over five years, but the Yankees could soar above that price tag and eliminate any other team’s chances of signing him if they are able to save money on Rodriguez.