After a tumultuous past year, we have another telling news item about Alex Rodriguez. The New York Yankees’ third baseman will not report to spring training with the rest of the team’s other position players, and will instead continue his rehabilitation from hip surgery in New York.
The 37-year-old is expected to be out until the All-Star break after having an operation on January 16. Let’s face it, the real reason A-Rod is not attending spring training in Florida is so he won’t have to answer questions from the press about the recent reports that he received performance-enhancing drugs from a clinic in Miami.
Rodriguez has never been especially popular with his teammates either, so there is no real reason for him to head to Florida to join his teammates and help build camaraderie. Frankly, he’s just never been that kind of guy.
This is the latest in a long line of problems for Rodriguez, the most embarrassing of which have been the multiple times he has been linked to PEDs. But after posting just three hits in 25 at-bats during the 2012 postseason (including going 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers) and being benched for several games, it’s clear that the Yankees aren’t exactly enamored with him. In fact, reports suggest the team could be looking for ways out of Rodriguez’s contract.
The Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis this offseason to fill in at third base in A-Rod’s absence. With Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera coming off injury New York has a lot of question marks to deal with entering spring training.
For the past few months it has become increasingly apparent that the Yankees and Rodriguez aren’t a great match anymore. But no team would trade for a 37-year-old with a ridiculous contract who is a shell of his former self. After all, this isn’t 2007 Alex Rodriguez (54 home runs, 156 RBI), this is 2013 Alex Rodriguez. He’s the guy coming off of hip surgery who hit 18 home runs in 2012 and just 16 in 2011, and who has averaged just 120 games played since 2009.
I guess the lesson here is that you shouldn’t give a guy in his mid-30s a 10-year, $275 million contract and expect everything to go swimmingly.