Home / Sports / A-Rod open to playing first if it means playing time, GM says

A-Rod open to playing first if it means playing time, GM says

After the Daily News reported that Yankee designated hitter Alex Rodriguez would spend the All-Star break taking grounders at first base in an effort to expand his current DH-only role, GM Brian Cashman said “it might happen” that A-Rod could play at Lou Gehrig’s old position.

“I think with the reduced playing time, Alex has indicated he’d be open to playing first,” Cashman told The News Thursday. “We’ll see what we see. If (Rodriguez) is a viable alternative, it might happen. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it will.”

Back in February, Cashman told reporters at a charity event in midtown that it was time to stop asking questions about Rodriguez playing in the field.

“He’s not playing anywhere. He’s a DH,” Cashman said of Rodriguez then. “He’s a very productive DH. For us to get maximum value of Alex Rodriguez, he’s going to only DH.”

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Rodriguez, who will turn 41 July 27, is currently batting a measly .220 in 51 games played this season and has seen his playing time shrink of late. He hasn’t played in the field in 2016 and only played at first in two games last season. Lately, manager Joe Girardi has ignored using A-Rod against right-handed pitchers, and instead has opted for Carlos Beltran’s hot bat in the DH role. Beltran is also nursing a sore hamstring.

Whether the star-crossed Rodriguez — who has 695 career home runs — makes the move to first remains to be seen, as the Yankees try to climb back into contention in the AL East. Will the 44-44 Yankees — who are 7.5 games behind division leader Baltimore — be sellers at the August 1 trading deadline?

“I’ve already been through this recently — we could be buyers and we could be sellers,” Cashman told The News Thursday. “I’ve had discussions with teams about their players and teams have had discussions with me about our players. I’ve had a lot of conversations and I share all the information with ownership. We’re hoping for big play in the second half. We took three of four from a very good team (AL Central-leading Cleveland) before the break. Hopefully that will be a springboard for us.”

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said last month that he thought the Bombers are going “to be right smack in the middle of it come the end of July,” while team president Randy Levine said at the end of June that “there’s a long way to go” in the season.

Alex Rodriguez will take grounders at first over All-Star break

“I think the team has under-performed and there’s a lot of talent here. So would I rather be in first place? Yeah, I’d rather,” Levine said June 27.

“But there’s a long way to go, and last I looked there are about eight teams in the American League in playoff contention that are a game or two away from us.”  

Tags:
alex rodriguez
new york yankees
mlb
brian cashman
joe girardi
carlos beltran

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