It’s hard to see the Yankees trying to replace A-Rod with anyone currently on the roster. Look for them to try to make a trade for a player who would fit on the bench when A-Rod returns. 33-year old Alex Rodriguez played in 138 games for the Yankees last season and he was 154 for 510 (.302 avg, .965 OPS) with 104 runs scored, 35 homers, 103 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He made 10 errors at 3B last season for the Yankees in 131 games there while showing slightly below average range.
33-year old righty swinging Cody Ransom is the odds on favorite to win the starting 3B job unless the Yankees make a trade. He played in 33 games for the Yankees last season and he was 13 for 43 (.302 avg, 1.051 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 4 homers and 8 RBIs. Angel Berroa might also make the team on Opening Day for the Yankees but he’s not a natural 3B.
32-year old righty swinging Justin Leone is the long shot here. He last played in the majors in 2006 for the Padres. He played in 108 games in Rookie+AAA ball last season and he was 91 for 367 (.248 avg, .811 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 17 homers, 66 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. In 32 games in his major league career, Leone is 22 for 103 (.214 avg, .733 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 6 homers and 13 RBIs.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B (Because of A-Rod)