Probably because there is little they can do about A-Rod putting on pinstripes in 2015 and the less talk of the admitted steroid cheat, the better.
But behind the scenes, manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman are reportedly at clear odds about what Rodriguez's role with the team will be when he is back, according to the N.Y. Post.
Girardi sounds excited to see what Rodriguez can offer the Yankees at third base and even spoke with him last month about taking some reps at first base during spring training.
“We’re preparing him to play third base, but I think you have to see,” said Girardi. “Obviously, we believe there’s going to be some DH days in there. You’ve got to see where he’s at. I mean, he is going to be 40. He hasn’t played a whole lot in the last couple of years. But our hope is that he comes back and is a very productive player for us.”
Cashman, on the other hand, seems bent on getting a third baseman, meaning A-Rod is likely ticketed for a full-time designated hitter role and made it clear at this week's general managers meeting in Arizona that third base is prime for the taking.
“If I signed a Chase Headley, he would be the starting third baseman,” Cashman said on Day 2 of the meetings. “If I traded for a third baseman that was an everyday guy, that would be the move I would be making.”
Meanwhile, Girardi said he has kept in touch with Rodriguez via phone, text and email this offseason. The manager claimed he may even go visit A-Rod this offseason to gauge how he’s doing physically, although like everybody else, he has no idea what to expect from the aging, embattled slugger.
“Alex obviously is going to come in and compete,” Cashman said. “Compete for at-bats, compete for a position; simple as that. When we last saw Alex he was playing third base, that was a little over a year ago. Obviously he’s looking to compete for an everyday position at third, maybe fight for at-bats at the DH spot.”
The Yankees seemed impressed by what they saw from Headley during his two months as a Yankee last season, making him an ideal candidate to return at third. And since they reportedly have no intention of pursuing Pablo Sandoval, Headley looks like Cashman's top choice.
And considering how much time Mark Teixeira has missed due to injury over the past few seasons, it sounds like the Yankees will need a spare first baseman/DH to fill in.
So when push actually comes to shove between Cashman and Girardi, the soon-to-be 40-year-old A-Rod might fit the bill in that capacity.