Gathered together for the first day of the Winter Meetings, the baseball world woke up on Monday morning to perhaps the most significant news of the Yankees offseason.
Alex Rodriguez needs hip surgery. Again. It’s his left hip this time, and he’s going to miss the beginning of next season. Probably won’t be back until June or July, and now the Yankees need a third baseman. Rodriguez’s future is as uncertain as ever. Everyone seems to agree that he’ll play again, but at what capacity? For how long?
“I’m actually, in many ways, relieved that there’s something tangible that we can go fix,” Rodriguez said yesterday.
That’s the positive spin — at least there might be a fixable problem that caused last year’s struggles — but the negative spin is far easier to swallow.
• The free agent market got hot last week, and potential Yankees targets Jeff Keppinger, Eric Chavez and Nick Schierholtz signed elsewhere. The Wall Street Journal reported that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was not allowed to make offers without checking with ownership first.
• The Yankees did finally make an offer to third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who seems to be their top choice to fill Rodriguez’s opening. If he accepts, Youkilis would be the Yankees first significant signing that’s not a re-signing. He’s also reportedly considering an offer from Cleveland.
• The Yankees avoided arbitration with Brett Gardner, who just might switch from left field to center field next season.
• Remember the New York Post picture that appeared to show an out-of-shape Derek Jeter? Last week Jeter had a public appearance at Yankee Stadium where he was said to be looking no different than usual. A picture from Harold Reynolds suggested the same. Jeter said several times last week that he fully expects to be healthy for Opening Day.
• Utility man Jayson Nix cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A. He’ll come to big league camp with a chance to win his old job back.
• Robinson Cano officially committed to playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Also, Cano’s agent — Scott Boras — said once again that the Yankees have had no talks with Cano about an extension.
• Curtis Granderson spent the past week serving as a baseball ambassador in South Korea and Japan, meeting fans and hostling clinics.
• The Yankees did not lose anyone or choose anyone in the Rule 5 draft.
• Former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Associated Press photos