Despite reports that the New York Yankees want to rid themselves of third baseman Alex Rodriguez and his enormous salary, general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN radio Sunday that the team wants him back and does not want him suspended.
Rodriguez faces a 211-game suspension stemming from Major League Baseball’s investigation of the former South Florida anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis. Rodriguez is in hearings appealing his ban.
Cashman said that Rodriguez is very difficult to replace, even though the team is trying to get below the luxury tax threshold of $189 million. Rodriguez is owed $86 million through 2017.
“If it comes down to, would we want the player we signed to be playing that position without any problems? Absolutely, no question about that,” Cashman said. “I think if people think there’s some sort of benefit by losing that talent, I mean, you can’t replace it. It’s not like, all right, well, Alex is gone. If he winds up getting suspended and it’s upheld, how do you replace that? It’s not easy.”
Rodriguez hit .244 with seven home runs in 44 games this year.
RAMIREZ STATUS UNSURE
The Dodgers might have to face Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright without their top hitter in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez had a CT scan on his left ribs, and the results weren’t available by mid-afternoon Sunday. He got hit by a pitch from Joe Kelly in the opener but played all 13 innings of the Cardinals’ 3-2 victory.
Ramirez was a late scratch for Game 2, a 1-0 victory for the Cardinals that gave them a 2-0 lead over Los Angeles in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 is Monday at Dodger Stadium.
“We’re just working on that, taking the pain away so I can go,” Ramirez said. “Even if it’s cracked or something, I’m going to be able to get out there if we can take the pain away. It feels the same, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to remain positive for tomorrow.”
Ramirez had a .638 slugging percentage during the regular season, and the Dodgers need an offensive boost to get back into the series. They batted .184 in the first two games, including 1-for-16 (.063) with runners in scoring position.
CARDS LOSING CARPENTER?
Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter will retire during the offseason, the Boston Globe reported.
Carpenter has made no public announcement, but his agent, Bob LaMonte, told the Globe that the pitcher plans to retire and might have an opportunity to work for the Cardinals organization.
Carpenter, 38, did not pitch in 2013 and made only three appearances in 2012 after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Tigers pitcher Bruce Rondon, who made one appearance after Sept. 2 because of tenderness in his right elbow, began a throwing program this weekend at the team’s spring training complex in Florida, MLB.com reported. It’s unclear whether he might be available in the postseason. … The Dodgers do not plan to retain Steve Lyons and Eric Collins for their broadcast team next season, the Los Angeles Times reported.