But that doesn't mean they're not open to trying.
New York general manager Brian Cashman says that while a trade of Rodriguez and the $114 million and five years left on his contract would be "unrealistic" at this point, considering the takers are expected to be few, he's still listening if other teams are interested.
"It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything," Cashman said on ESPN Radio's Sunday Morning With Ian O'Connor, according to ESPNNewYork.com.
While a trade seems to be what's on everyone else's mind, Cashman noted that the Yankees need a third baseman — and Rodriguez is still their best option.
"I don't think it's realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base," he said. "He's still an above-average third baseman. … That means, despite the contract that we had committed to him, that he's an asset at this stage still. I don't see us doing anything there. I don't anticipate it. If someone wants to make phone calls, we're more than willing to do all that stuff with any of our players, and that's fine. You can run into something that way."
Cashman said people need to "put to bed" the idea that the Yankees' No. 1 priority this offseason is getting rid of Rodriguez, calling speculation "wasted energy." He said the Yankees are not interested in moving backup shortstop Eduardo Nunez to third, and that, despite Rodriguez's recent fade, he's still decent at third base.
Cashman did agree, however, that Rodriguez is not elite anymore — and he's certainly not at the level the contract pays him for.
"Do I expect him to return to the MVP-caliber-type Alex Rodriguez? No," Cashman said. "… Is he a superstar at that position? No. But I think when anybody signed that contract, expecting him to be at that level at that age would be unrealistic also."
"That contract" was a 10-year, $275 million deal in 2007 that Rodriguez signed after opting out of the original 10-year, $252 million contract he carried to New York from Texas. Rodriguez will be 42 when his new contract ends.
Rodriguez has battled injuries over the last few seasons and has seen his production drop since his last MVP year, in 2007, especially in the last three seasons. He went 3-for-25 in the playoffs this year amid cries for Yankees manager Joe Girardi to bench him, and he was not in the starting lineup for the last two games of the American League Championship Series as New York fell to Detroit in four games.
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