The A. J. Burnett deal has opened up the chance that Raul Ibanez will be a New York Yankee soon.
If they want him to give the team outfield depth, it makes sense. Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Andruw Jones and Nick Swisher could make a good combination. But you never know, especially with the unpredictable Jones.
But if they want Ibanez to be the fulltime DH, I must submit that would be a mistake for the Yankees. They have a DH on the roster. It is A-Rod.
Let me make my case by asking 5 questions.
ARE THE YANKEES BETTER WITH ALEX RODRIGUEZ IN THE LINEUP EVERY DAY?
That’s obviously a big yes. Even if he isn’t an MVP candidate anymore (he isn’t) he still is a dangerous hitter and helps the hitters right behind him and in front of him by playing every day.
IS ALEX RODRIGUEZ GOING TO PLAY 150 GAMES AT THIRD BASE?
Probably not. In fact he hasn’t played 150 games at third base since 2007, when he was 31 and before I knew about what his cousin was shooting in his butt. He is going to be 36 this season and he only played 87 last year at third. When relatively healthy he has yet to play 140 games a season since resigning. So in a best case scenario, someone other than A-Rod will be playing third base 20-30 times.
IS ALEX RODRIGUEZ’S HEALTH GOING TO IMPROVE IN 2012?
Well the days of players suddenly getting stronger in their mid to late 30s has mysteriously ended. And even A-Rod isn’t dumb enough to get caught again.
How does he feel health wise? The fact that he’s running all over the world, including blood treatments in Germany, makes me thinking that maybe he has some real concerns going into the new season.
WOULD PLAYING AT THIRD BASE BE RISKIER HEALTHWISE THAN BEING THE DESIGNATED HITTER?
What do you think?
IS THERE A LONG TERM BENEFIT TO A-ROD BEING THE DH?
He has 6 more years to this amazing deal.
Last year he was 35 years old and breaking down. At age 41, he will be paid as an elite player.
Shouldn’t the Yankees do everything they can to have him NOT totally break down in his mid 30s so they can squeeze something out of him in his early 40s?
So keeping these five questions in mind, why not put him at Designated Hitter?
Why risk having a player who is already a health risk and put him in the infield where he’s probably only going to play 110-120 games at most anyway.
Wouldn’t it help the Yankees to have A-Rod in the line up for an additional 25-40 games?
Have him play third maybe once a week or in the Interleague Games. Or maybe not.
But resign Eric Chavez and have Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez play third in a rotation. Maybe at the trade deadline swing a deal when a team is dumping salaries. (If the Nationals fall out of contention, Mark Teahen is a pending free agent. Maybe stick him at third.)
Mind you, I think the same thing should be done for three other big leaguers.
Kevin Youkilis? He should be the Red Sox DH. After this year when we all say good bye to Ortiz, put Youk in at DH. He’s not valuable for his glove. He needs to get on base and smack balls off the wall.
Miguel Cabrera? His job is to jack balls out of the park and make sure Prince Fielder sees a lot of fastballs.
Albert Pujols? His job is to launch homers into that strange Thunder Mountain Railroad thingee in centerfield and sell jerseys.
It all makes sense to me.
Which is why it probably won’t happen.