The Alex Rodriguez saga took a bizarre twist on Wednesday, when Yankees' manager partner Hal Steinbrenner didn't rule out a return to the Bronx for his suspended third baseman in 2015. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post has the relevant quotes.
“He’s a great player,” Steinbrenner said in the Yankees’ managing general partner’s first public comments since independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced Rodriguez’s suspension from 211 games to 162 games. “I have not thought about 2015, nor am I going to right now. My focus has to be right now. But when he’s on and when he’s healthy, he’s obviously an asset. We’ll see what happens.”
“When Alex Rodriguez is healthy and himself, I think most objective baseball people would say he could be an asset to a club.”
Steinbrenner has a valid point, and it's something I've harped on in the past. A-Rod was New York's most productive third baseman in 2013, even though he missed nearly three-fourths of the season. Unless the Yankees are willing to pay an absurd amount of money for a guy with a variable track record like Chase Headley or Pablo Sandoval, Rodriguez might be their best option *again*, just like he's probably their best option at third in 2014.
The controversy regarding Rodriguez's desire to report to Spring Training was also addressed by Steinbrenner.
“We haven’t even talked about it. Cross that bridge when we come to it kind of thing. We’re going to reach out to [Major League Baseball], get their advice obviously, but haven’t even addressed it.”
Yeah, that's essentially a no comment. We'll see what happens with that in a few weeks.