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Sunday, November 25, 2012
Missing Links: A-Rod a DH & Martin a SS

By Andrew Marchand

A week from today, the baseball world will descend on Nashville for the Winter Meetings. Between now and then, if all goes right for the Yankees, they could have Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera officially in the fold, allowing them to focus on catcher (first choice is Russell Martin) and right field (Ichiro Suzuki's first choice is the Yankees).

Until then, let's scan the web.

1) Over at Fox Sorts, Ken Rosenthal says Alex Rodriguez could be headed to DH full-time.
Are Alex Rodriguez’s days as a full-time third baseman numbered?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says no. But others in the industry say the team may be laying groundwork to use Rodriguez as their primary designated hitter, starting next season.

The Yankees, who say they do not plan to trade Rodriguez, are trying to land a veteran infielder who can play third and also fill in at short with Derek Jeter coming off surgery on his left ankle.

However, few available players fit that description, and Cashman said Saturday that the Yankees’ intent is not to move Rodriguez off of third base.

“There is no discussion whatsoever about Alex transitioning from third base to DH, part-time DH, first base or any other position on the field,” Cashman said.


My take:The Yankees already had A-Rod at DH a lot last year. Basically one out of every three games (38-out-of-119) he played were at DH. So if that were to go up a little, it would be far from shocking.

I don't think the Yankees are taking away A-Rod's third base glove. Rosenthal talked about an interest in Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger, off of a .325 batting average/.806 OPS, will likely be able to go some place where he won't be sitting behind the likes of A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira. I would say he would be a long shot for the Yanks, because I suspect he will receive better offers.

2) Martin wants to be a shortstop. Not in the majors, but in the WBC -- for Canada. David Waldstein of the New York Times, in a story first reported by La Presse, writes that Martin has already told Canada's coach he would like to do it. Waldstein writes:

As catcher Russell Martin waits to determine which major league team to sign with, he is also considering playing shortstop for Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Martin, a Canadian citizen, told Greg Hamilton, the Baseball Canada head coach and director of the national teams, that he wants to play shortstop in the W.B.C. Hamilton was receptive to the idea.


My take: I tend to doubt the Yankees, for one, will let Martin play short if they sign him to a multi-year contract. It may be a less risky position than catcher, but it does not seem like something the conservative firm of Cashman & Girardi would be gung-ho about.

In more pressing issues, I do believe if the Yankees want Martin or A.J. Pierzynski, they will need to go multiple years.