A-Rod To Have Hip Surgery

In October, Alex Rodriguez was terrible when he did play, and he didn’t play all that much because of said terribleness. As Jeff noted during the ALCS, Rodriguez looked noticeably diminished after he came off the disabled list, especially against right-handers, and the contact issues suggested that he very well might not be 100% healthy.

Well, no more need to speculate – Joel Sherman reported this morning that A-Rod had surgery on his left hip and will be sidelined for 3-6 months. The end of that timeline would put him on track to return to the field in June, and given the lingering nature of hip problems, it’s probably not in the Yankees best interests to assume that he’s going to be back to 100% any time in the near future. In reality, Rodriguez is now a 37-year-old who has had surgery on both hips, and his body seems to be entering the stage where he’s unlikely to be able to be a full-time player going forward.

That leaves Brian Cashman with a role player who is due $114 million over the next five years. The only winner in this might be Ryan Howard, who is no longer the owner of the worst contract in baseball.

Now, the question for the Yankees is what they do at third base in 2013. Eric Chavez isn’t exactly the pinnacle of health, so while the left/right tandem worked pretty well last year, the Yankees probably need a healthier fill-in. Or, more realistically, they probably need a full-time third baseman to replace Rodriguez, who is a good bet to spend more time at DH than in the field for the rest of his career.

Unfortunately for New York, the third base market is less than stellar, and the best options available this winter are players with health questions – Kevin Youkilis, Jeff Keppinger, and the aforementioned Chavez. So, a full-time third baseman might need to come from the trade market, and as the Arizona Diamondbacks will tell you, there aren’t exactly a lot of good third base options available there either.

Just take a look at the Major League leaderboard at third base last year – it’s a collection of good players who aren’t going anywhere or guys who are various degrees of bad and/or broken. You can basically count on the top 10 third baseman on that list — Wright, Headley, Cabrera, Beltre, A. Ramirez, Zimmerman, Freese, Seager, Moustakas, and H. Ramirez — staying with their current teams for 2013 at minimum, and the pickings get pretty slim once you get past that group.

In looking for guys who might be useful and potentially available, I’d suggest Ryan Roberts or Sean Rodriguez, (TB), Jamey Carroll (MIN), and Chris Nelson (COL). Please, hold your excitement.

The league just lacks interesting young third baseman who haven’t already become franchise players. The guys who have established themselves have been good to give up, and there just isn’t a middle tier of useful talent to pluck from. The guys who are available are on the market because they’re A-Rod’s equal either in terms of age or physical durability.

This is what it’s come to the for the Yankees. Even if they were still acting like The Yankees (TM), there wouldn’t be anyone worth throwing huge amounts of cash at. New York now has a massive hole at third base and no real obvious solutions to the problem, so while Rodriguez might be a shell of his former self, this is still a bit of a blow to the team. At least a healthy-ish A-Rod represented an average (even if dramatically overpaid) third baseman, and the team could focus their off-season work on filling out the roster. Without A-Rod to begin the year and a big question mark beyond that, they now have to find a third baseman in a market where they really aren’t many to pick from.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


69 Responses to “A-Rod To Have Hip Surgery”

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  1. Cream says:

    Buzz says, “He’s acted like a jerk once too many times, and this time he caught it in the butt.”

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  2. Kevin S. says:

    I don’t think the Yankees really have the goods to get him, so this is more of a general question, but what would it take to get Mike Olt away from Texas? Is he good enough that he’s superstar bait, or could he be had in a prospect swap for another ML-ready player who wouldn’t be blocked in Texas? Alternatively, would the Rangers trade Beltre to give him the spot, and what kind of return would they be looking at (assuming they eat no money)?

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    • Preston says:

      If the Yankees wanted to move Olt, it would probably benefit them to trade him for a lesser package rather than trade him to the Yankees. A RH power hitter to play good defense at 3B is exactly what their lineup lacks. If they got him at the league minimum, it would mitigate the A-Rod injury and strengthen one of their chief rivals. Teams usually don’t operate that way.

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  3. Steve 1 says:

    Juan Francisco for Brett Gardener!

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  4. Ryan Howard says:

    Hey! I still have time to get injured. Don’t write my contract off yet!

    +29 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Chet says:

    I’ve wanted to drop this bozo for so long in a keeper league…finally. Sayonara!

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  6. Choo says:

    Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of rear leg lameness in large purebred dogs, such as the Rodweiler.

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Jabronies says:

    Im sure the NY papers will take it easy on ARod for waiting this long to have the surgery, and not havnig it 2 months ago.

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  8. Austin says:

    Not that it matters in the grand scheme of the article, but he will be having the surgery after the new year.

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  9. Chicago Mark says:

    I haven’t seen it written yet. But these ain’t George’s Yankees. George only cared about winning. The effects of which paid handsomely. But the boys aren’t willing to pay that extra 20-40mm to get it done. Until they figure that out, there just won’t be the Damn Yankees around. And ARod, well let’s just say “Cream” got it right.

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    • Dan says:

      you mean he is in a dark room? with black curtains??
      i dont get the reference….

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      • Chicago Mark says:

        I like it Dan. But no, I mean the first entry from Cream above. But the Yankees might just be in that dark room, with black curtins. But they’re stuck at the station and the room is white. Ha!

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      • Chris says:

        He most certainly isn’t basking in the sunshine of your love.

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      • jason B says:

        White room. Someone was developing film in the dark room, so they had to find an alternate location…

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    • joe bananas says:

      Cash, Rules, Everything, Around, Me?
      C.R.E.A.M.; Get the money; Dollar, dollar bill y’all)

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    • joser says:

      “The boys” are smartly cutting back for one year to reset the luxury tax escalations. They’ll be back to being their father’s boys next year, and with a lot more dollars in hand (and possibly a better FA market in which to spend it).

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      • Chicago Mark says:

        Please explain more. Are you saying that by spending below the luxury tax max they will somehow increase the spending limit? I don’t understand. Unless this is true, I don’t think George would have been penny pinching. George wasn’t one to take a year off to the benifit for the next year. There was no re-loading with George.

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    • Travis L says:

      This Yankee team is also crippled by the backends of contracts signed under the previous attitude. They’re paying the piper.

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    • Jonathan says:

      This problem was caused BECAUSE of the free spending. Cashman wanted to let A-Rod walk when he opted out, but instead Hank stepped in and signed A-Rod to the complete disaster that is his current deal.

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      • Baltar says:

        What’s amazing is that even a baseball analyst as bad as me could see that that signing would be one of the worst in baseball history.

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  10. BBombers says:

    Maybe Baltimore would trade Machado? Would Betances, Nova, and Nunez get it done?

    -17 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. chel says:

    “…who has had surgery on both hips…”
    Pss.
    Don’t you know he has another pair?

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  12. Dave in GB says:

    Hell, Mark Reynolds is available and is very healthy. Imagine Reynolds and Jeter on the left side of the infield…

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  13. Westside guy says:

    As a Mariners fan I smiled as I read this:

    “…the top 10 third baseman on that list — Wright, Headley, Cabrera, Beltre, A. Ramirez, Zimmerman, Freese, Seager, Moustakas, and H. Ramirez

    It still hurts to have lost Beltre, but there was no way he wasn’t going to leave.

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    • joser says:

      I read that and then had to go actually check the FG 3B leaderboards to make sure Cameron wasn’t trying to sneak one past us.

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  14. j says:

    Probably the most reasonable thing to do would be to go in-house to replace him. They had Adams working at 3B late last year, Joseph could probably play there. Get a vet on a minor league deal to compete with them in ST. To be honest, the loss of Rodriguez isn’t that huge – he isn’t that impact player anymore and therefore he’s easier to replace.

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  15. Atari says:

    If Cashman hadn’t extended A-rod how much would the Yankees still owe on the original contract? And on CC’s?

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    • Kevin S. says:

      A-Rod wasn’t extended, he opted out. And it was Hank Steinbrenner and Randy Levine who gave him the new contract.

      CC’s extension was only one year, so he’d have three left instead of four. $23 million/year on the original deal.

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  16. John says:

    As an interesting thought experiment, I’m wondering what NYY would have to send to TB for Longoria’s still-warmed-from-the-printer contract.

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    • Travis L says:

      I honestly can’t put together a package that would even slightly interest the Rays. Maybe the entire top 10 of the Yankees prospect list plus $25 million?

      The timing also doesn’t work out. The Rays are competitive now, and for the near future. The Yankees are one of their biggest obstacles. Why would Tampa delay their window for future promises when not doing he deal now gives them a serious leg up?

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    • Baltar says:

      A package could be built around Cano.

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      • Robert says:

        Maybe from a talent standpoint, but I’m pretty sure Cano is a free agent in the next year or two and isn’t likely to sign a super team friendly deal like Longoria so he’s probably not a real deal starter either.

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  17. Hurtlockertwo says:

    It’s interesting that the Yankees let Arod take such abuse during the playoffs for being “terrible” when he was actually injured. I don’t like the Yankees or Arod either, but they could have just left him off the roster.

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  18. Expert on These Things says:

    Hip Stuff = Steroids. Look it up.

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  19. walt526 says:

    Crazy idea, but talk to the Giants about trading Sandoval iff the Yankees take on Zito as well.

    Zito is owed $20M in 2013 and has a $18M option for 2014 ($7M buyout). Sandoval is signed for $5.7M in 2013 and $8.25M in 2014, after which he’ll be a free agent.

    Giants have soured on Sandoval due to poor conditioning, but when he’s healthy he’s an above-average hitter for 3B and an adequate defensive player. Mixing and matching with A-Rod at 3B/DH for the next two years would be about the best that the Yankees could realistically hope for without breaking the bank.

    Zito is grossly overpaid, but he only has one more year and the Yankees could use a durable, innings eater, even one who is mediocre.

    Giants primary benefit is salary relief and maybe a B-/C+ prospect or two in return. Yankees would be above $189M and thus subject to the luxury tax, but for $25.7M in 2013 and $15.25M in 2014 (assuming buyout of Zito) they’d basically be paying market rate for WAR (assuming Sandoval is 3.5 WAR in 2013-14 and Zito is 1.5 WAR in 2013).

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    • joe bananas says:

      BBomers is that you?

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    • joser says:

      Well, now we know there’s one person on here who didn’t watch the World Series at all this year.

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    • Travis L says:

      Hahahaha. Giants aren’t looking for salary relief in the next few years, IMO. They have a flood of cash from the WS wins, and more tv money.

      We’re spent the past 15 years concerning ourselves with salary relief because cash was a major issue for 25-28 teams. Nowadays, teams seem to have more cash than elite free agents.

      Trading guys for salary relief (excepting trades like Crawford, V Wells, etc.) is something I expect to decline in the next few years.

      To say nothing of trading the WS hero just 2 months after his heroics… SF is very PR conscious.

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    • Baltar says:

      May I please have some of what you’re smoking?

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      • Hurtlockertwo says:

        I agree, Panda is only 26 y/o, doesn’t have any more Hamate bones and keeping him away from the Big Macs gives the Giants a very above average 3rd baseman.

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  20. ElToroStrikesAgain says:

    Ugh, looking at it realistically, the best option would probably be an Inge/Chavez platoon. You roll with the vets on 1 year deals, and hope Adams can be ready, or Nunez learns how to play 3rd. Can we get Brandon Laird back?

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  21. j says:

    Yeah, I’d just go with an Ibanez type on a cheap/minor league contract and see if Adams or Joseph can fill take the job in ST.

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  22. g says:

    They probably won’t do this, because they are the Yankees. But the best idea might be to wait til next year. Deal Cano, Granderson, and maybe some of the bullpen guys. Deal Kuroda and Pettitte at the deadline.

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  23. Travis L says:

    Anyone else really enjoy the desperation in Yankees fans ideas?

    This seems like poetic justice to me. The Yanks had such payroll advantages that it drove other teams to lock up their young players before they could move to NY.

    Now that there is a luxury tax and more money in the game, the Yanks competitive advantage is reduced. And their prospect cupboard is pretty bare.

    I would love to see NY finish last in the AL East in the near future while paying ARod so much money to sit on the bench.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      The Yankees don’t have a lot in the high minors, but that’s not the same thing as the cupboard being bare. Most rankings had them as a top-ten farm system last season, and even though they had some injury setbacks, I have a hard time seeing them come in as anything less than average this time around.

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    • Chicago Mark says:

      Enjoying a lot Travis. A real lot.

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    • Sage says:

      No, I’m not insecure enough to take joy in others loss. I prefer my team to win rather than their opponents to lose.

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  24. gnomez says:

    Loving the irony of Eric Chavez getting playing time due to someone else’s injury.

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. joser says:

    This is the other hip? And he’s getting a surgery on this one too?

    And thus ARod now has more in common with the grandmother than he does with most major-league players.

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    • Hurtlockertwo says:

      The sad part is he won’t be able to walk when he’s 50. (I know, why walk when you have $250 million bucks)

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  26. B says:

    If the Royals are fielding talks for Butler, that might change this conversation. I’m not sure the Yankees would see this as urgent enough to go get Butler.

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  27. Jason H. says:

    Arod is going to be back in June. They need an average third baseman until June. Chavez and Nunez will do just fine (as they did last year). …this really isn’t a big problem for the Yankees.

    Arod is going to play 3b when he comes back. He is not valuable to the team as a DH. If he breaks down and has to retire early, so much the better. Let the insurance company pay the rest of his salary…

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    • Doncosmic says:

      June is the absolute earliest he’ll be back, most people today were saying early august is more realistic. As was pointed out above, he hasn’t even had the surgery yet.

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      • Johnny Come Lately says:

        “Joel Sherman reported this morning that A-Rod had surgery on his left hip and will be sidelined for 3-6 months. ”

        I think 6 months is the slow end, at least according to above.

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      • Doncosmic says:

        6 months would be July then. and that’s when he could start playing, it will be over a year until he can play without pain.

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  28. Will says:

    How is Sandoval not a top 10 3b

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  29. rubesandbabes says:

    Is the story really gonna be that the Yankees are hamstrung by A-Rod’s contract the next few years?

    I say no – Yankees are about to rocket past the team salary threshold, well into the penalty amounts.

    They have to.

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  30. Al says:

    Could they move Jeter over to 3B? An eventual transition away from SS is coming, why not now?
    They would then need to fill SS bit I think that could be done easier than 3B and the defense would be much better.
    A-Rod can DH when he returns.

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