The Alex Rodriguez Thing

By Jason Wojciechowski on February 15, 2004 at 8:12 PM

I'm not even going to link to it. You all know what's going on.

It almost makes me cry, what the Yankees are doing. However, they've got the money, they've got the volition, so more power to them. Putting Alex Rodriguez at third base isn't going to make them any better a team defensively, which is about the only upside to this whole fiasco for any non-Yankees fans. It even gets Alfonso Soriano out of Joe Torre's clutches, so the leadoff spot in the Yankees lineup should go back to Derek Jeter now.

People have talked about how moving Jeter to third isn't really a solution for the Yankees defensive ills, because his problems with shortstop will still be a problem at third and his offense will be less valuable at third. That's predicated on the idea that it's easier to find a good offensive third baseman than it is to find a good offensive shortstop, however. Now that New York will have a good offensive shortstop (and a good defensive one to boot), Jeter should be a lock for third.

Better for the Yankees would be to put him in the outfield, where, as Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus has noted, his speed would be put to good use in making up for the likely bad jumps he'd get. That's unlikely to happen, though, with Gary Sheffield, Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui, and Kenny Lofton already in the outfield picture. The Yankees would then have to fill spots at third and second, instead of just second.