Sep 22, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi talks about closing pitcher Mariano Rivera at a press conference before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees: Joe Girardi in Trouble at Third Base?


 

On and off the baseball diamond, Alex Rodriguez has been a staple in New York for years. Whether his name is being discussed in a positive or unenthusiastic way, A-Rod in pinstripes goes together like baseball and apple pie. No matter your opinion on the controversial–to say the least–Yankee third-baseman, there’s no denying that he’s been an important part of the New York lineup, regardless of any action detrimental to the league.

While his name will always be tied to the one thing that tarnishes the MLB, his production as a Yankee remains unquestioned.

2014 will bring new challenges. Assuming his year-long suspension holds up, Rodriguez will be watching from outside of the field–leaving some to wonder if he’ll ever play again. Although the question won’t officially be answered until an official statement emerges, it’s time for the Yankee organization to look ahead, move forward, and find a lockdown third baseman not named Alex Rodriguez.

In a recent quote from manager Joe Girardi, he explains the road ahead via the New York Daily News:

“I think whether you have him or not, it’s important that we know,” Girardi  said Thursday morning at a charity event at the Stadium.

“If we’re not going to have him, we need to fill that void. It causes us to  think a lot about whether we need a third baseman or do we not need a third  baseman?

“Hopefully, we’ll know sooner rather than later.”

Sooner rather than later would probably be best… Looking at the depth chart, it’s safe to say that any option inside the organization isn’t going to be a substantial enough alternative to the 14-time MLB All Star. There’s youth, but is there really any safe play at this point? This team has never had to worry about a gaping hole at the “hot corner”. Now that it appears that there’s going to be a shift of responsibility at third base, possibly to someone outside of the organization. The problem? Among the top 2014 free-agents, there’s no player under 32 years old.

Juan Uribe, Eric Chavez, and Wilson Betemit are among those available to the front office to take a look at, but are those the kind of players that they want to build their 2014 campaign around?

Is it possible that the hole at third base that is there now, will stick around for the entire 2014 season? Take a look at the Baltimore Orioles, who with the injuries to Brian Roberts, have had a massive conundrum at the second base spot for the past few years.

Everyone wants the Yankees to make a move if A-Rod’s suspension holds up. The question–is there really a move to be made?

Tags: Alex Rodriguez Joe Girardi New York Yankees