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Top Nine A-Rod replacements

Even before anyone knew the result of the hearings over Alex Rodriguez's suspension, most assumed that the Yankees would prepare for some kind of life without A-Rod by looking for a right-handed hitter to help fill the void somehow until their star's inevitable return.

But now that everyone knows Rodriguez's return won't happen until 2015, the Yankees know they're in the market for a full-year replacement - or at least a full-year platoon option - and not just a temporary stopgap.

General manager Brian Cashman said he is "willing to go to war" with whatever the organization has at third base come Spring Training, but it's entirely possible someone comes along that changes their mind - and with that thought fresh, we've decided to take this Niner to spotlight and rank (in reverse order of feasibility) a few options - in or out-of-house - that the Yankees could look at over the next couple months to fill their presumed void at the hot corner.

  • KELLY JOHNSON
    Realistically, Johnson's versatility and Brian Roberts' health concerns seem to make second and third bases a multi-way platoon at best - but given Johnson has lefty power and actually hits for better average against lefties than righties (.276 vs. 244 career), could/should he be a full-time player?
  • EDUARDO NUNEZ
    At 27, Nunez is maybe too established to be the "heir apparent" to Derek Jeter, and defensively, he hasn't shown he can be; however, he has the most experience at third (78 games) of anyone on the in-house roster, and could hit enough (.267 career average) to be part of the above-mentioned platoon.
  • CORBAN JOSEPH
    CoJo spent most of the second half of 2013 on the Triple-A DL, but he got some reps at the hot corner earlier in the year and put up strong numbers in 2012 in Scranton (.266-15-56 in 86 games). He's also a lefty who can play second, however, which may make him too close to Johnson for comfort.
  • RONNIER MUSTELIER
    "Musty" seemed to be close to earning a roster spot out of Spring Training last year before he got hurt, and with the added versatility he has in the outfield, he could be a good fit in 2014; defense may not be his strong suit, but he hits (.306, 25 HR in 240 Minor League games) and could fit in a platoon scenario.
  • SCOTT SIZEMORE
    The Yankees have reportedly signed Sizemore, who missed all of 2012 and most of 2013 because of two torn ACLs, to a Minor League deal. Not a sexy signing, sure, but he did post a .249-11-52 line for Oakland in 2011 - a better line than what Scott Brosius put up there the year before he became a Yankee.
  • MICHAEL YOUNG
    At 37, he's surely not what he used to be, especially with the glove, but in a situation where he would realistically be asked to play 100 games or so, Young could surely show flashes of what's made him a .300 career hitter. He is only two years removed from leading the AL in hits, you know.
  • MARK REYNOLDS
    It's been rumored that the Yankees only offered Reynolds a Minor League deal earlier this winter, but that would've been before they knew A-Rod's fate. He hit six homers in 36 games as a Yankee last year and can also play first, so he might still end up being the Yankees' best option.
  • PLACIDO POLANCO
    Last year, Polanco hit .260 in 416 plate appearances for the Marlins and was an above-average defender. He lacks power, and, at 38, has wavered on whether or not to retire; the former can be made up elsewhere, but could the lure of one last run for a ring assuage the latter and bring him to the Bronx?
  • STEPHEN DREW
    Drew is adamant that he wants to play shortstop, but given the fact that teams may be gun-shy to sign him because of the loss of draft pick, could the Yankees, as time goes on, convince him to play third for a year and then perhaps replace and/or help spell Derek Jeter if The Captain returns in 2015?
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