The Yankees suffered another devastating injury on Tuesday night.
Alex Rodriguez suffered a broken hand after being hit by a pitch from Felix Hernandez in a game against the Mariners. He was put on the 15-day DL, but he'll likely be out much longer than two weeks.
The third baseman could be out 6-8 weeks, which would sideline him for almost the rest of the regular season. If Rodriguez heals slower than normal, there's an outside chance he won't suit up for New York the rest of the season.
The trade deadline is less than a week away, and the team must decide soon if they want to make a deal to replace their starter.
A-Rod hasn't been the same player he once was. He doesn't have nearly the same power he used to have, but he's still one of the better players at his position. He's tied for fifth among third basemen with 15 home runs and is fourth with 12 stolen bases.
The injury puts a hole in the middle of the lineup, where Rodriguez has hit since 2004. Eric Chavez will take over the full-time duties for the moment. He's batting .269 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 64 games this season. Infielder Jayson Nix will also see some action.
There probably aren't many available third basemen that compare to Rodriguez. The best one that the Yankees might be able to acquire is Chase Headley.
The Padres are out of playoff contention and are looking to trade assets by the July 31 deadline. There are reportedly multiple teams interested in Headley and he will more than likely be traded.
Headley has two more years of arbitration after 2012, so he wouldn't just be a rental. Rodriquez is under contract for the next few seasons, but New York could play him predominantly at DH if they make a deal with San Diego. Headley is just 28 years old and would give the Yankees infield some much needed youth. He has 11 homers and 50 RBI this season.
New York has struggled recently on offense and Headley could help prevent them from going into a further tailspin. The team has scored just 16 runs in their last six games.
Still, the Yankees might feel that they can afford to stand pat, despite Rodriguez's broken hand. New York has a seven-game lead in the American League East and might be able to hold onto that lead without the future Hall of Famer.
The broken hand of Rodriguez is just one of a few key injuries the Yankees have suffered. Mariano Rivera went down for the year less than a month into the season. Andy Pettitte hasn't pitched since June 27 because of a fractured fibula. He might not return to the diamond for another month.