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A Twist On A-Rod Injury

Regardless on what happens going forward, we now know that Alex Rodriguez will now play the 2009 season at less than full strength, either fighting through an injury or missing significant time because of hip surgery. No matter how you slice it, there's a reasonably good chance the Yankees will need someone else to play at third base.

Or maybe they'll need someone to play at second base. As ESPN's Buster Olney said in an ESPN Insider column earlier today, the Yankees have internally discussed moving second baseman Robinson Cano to a more suitable infield position in the past. What if that position was third base?

It's a shift that would make the Yankees free agent pursuit of an A-Rod filler a lot easier. Second baseman like Mark Grudzielanek and Ray Durham are readily available, and might be a better fit with the Yankees than some of the higher priced third basemen available in a trade.

Naturally, moving Cano to third would create a logjam somewhere when A-Rod returns, but that would be a lot easier to take if the logjam was centered around a $1 million second baseman rather than a pricey third baseman acquired in a trade.

What do people think? Does Olney's infield shift make sense for the Yankees? Or is this a move they would only make if A-Rod has surgery and is out for 3-4 months?

By Cameron Smith  |  March 6, 2009; 1:52 PM ET
Categories:  Yankees  
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Fangraphs also speculated about Grudzie. They project him as about 10 runs a month (or one win) worse than A-Rod. Of course, any replacement not named Pujols will be some runs worse than A-Rod. Grudzie would also be a nice backup at 3 infield positions when A-Rod gets back, so he makes a lot of sense.

Perhaps another sensible name is in the Nats dugout - Ronnie Belliard. He projects a little better offensively but a little worse defensively. Would cost a marginal prospect, though.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 6, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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