Alex Rodriguez’s fielding days with the New York Yankees are apparently over. A-Rod will be a full-time designated hitter for the team, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Chase Headley will be the new third baseman, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
"I can't expect Alex to be anything," Cashman told the AP. "I've got to think the worst and hope for the best." Rodriguez was suspended from the team for the 2014 season after he was found to have used performance-enhancing drugs. He admitted to federal authorities that he used steroids. Cashman has not discussed A-Rod’s new role with him, and doesn’t think it’s necessary. "I don't need to," Cashman said. "I've been very consistent with my conversations publicly from October on. I have not heard from Alex on any of that, and I know he reads all this stuff."
Part of the reason Cashman chose to make Rodriguez, 39, a DH has to do with his age, he said. “He's approaching 40 years of age,” Cashman told the AP. “And just to automatically assume given his circumstances that he'll be able to plug right in, play third as an everyday guy and hold up and be productive, I think that would be dangerous thinking from my perspective, in the seat I'm sitting in."
Rodriguez hasn’t played a full season since 2007 due to an injury, ESPN wrote. He has had operations on his right and left hip and has suffered leg injuries.
Headley won a 2012 Gold Glove Award. "We believe we now have a very strong defensive infield," Cashman said.
Rodriguez has not yet publicly commented on being a full-time designated hitter.
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