Girardi: New third baseman may play 162

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
8:07
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn -- Joe Girardi gave his State of the Yankees address here at the Winter Meetings. Girardi hit on a number of subjects, so let's go through what we learned.

1) Giradi said that when Alex Rodriguez comes back he may have to do a lot of DHing. Any new third baseman replacements the Yankees sign may have to play 162 games, because the Yankees don't know if A-Rod will be back.


"I think you have to assume those guys can play out the whole year depending on when Alex gets back," Girardi said. "Our hope is it's going to be four to six months. You can't predict what's going to happen, and you can't predict how he's going to come back."

Girardi seemed to think that the Yankees may need two players who can play third base in A-Rod's absence. He was not ruling out Eric Chavez as a possibility. In terms of free agents, as we wrote after A-Rod's injury became public, Jeff Keppinger is the favorite.

Girardi seemed a little more receptive to the idea of Eduardo Nunez playing some third, but it would only be predicated on whether the Yankees don't acquire anyone else to fill that spot. So, it is still unlikely.

2) Girardi said his first four starters are set (CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitee and Phil Hughes), leaving Ivan Nova and David Phelps to fight it out for the fifth spot.

"I think those guys would be the two favorites to be one of the fifth starters," Girardi said.

The Yankees could add a starter or two at the end of the winter, but whomever they would pick up would likely not have a real chance to win the fifth spot, unless there were injuries.

3) On Russell Martin not being re-signed, Girardi said $189M is real.

"I think sometimes people assume that the New York Yankees are the New York Yankees and there's no budget constraints and there aren't things that we want to stick to, but there are," Girardi said. "So I think that's part of the reason why he wasn't resigned."


3) Girardi said that, if nothing changes, Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli will fight it out for the No. 1 spot in spring training.

"I think it's an open competition," Girardi said.

4) Curtis Granderson's vision is fine, Girardi said. We asked earlier on Tuesday if the Yankees should deal him?

5) Girardi said he would be fine with having two speed guys like Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki in the outfield together. He wouldn't say if Gardner will move back to center if Granderson is still on the team. The bet here is Gardner will be play center and Granderson will be in left.

6) Girardi mentioned lefty Cesar Cabral will be back in the spring. Cabral fought for a spot on the team last year before his elbow gave out. Boone Logan and Clay Rapada earned their pen roles as lefties, but the Yankees like Cabral's potential.
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146