SEATTLE, WA: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees recoils after being hit with a pitch by starting pitcher Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. Rodriguez was removed from the game. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
It wasn't just a flurry of transactions that went down after you went to bed last night, as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez broke his hand after being hit by a pitch from the hand of Felix Hernandez. Rodriguez is expected to be out at least a month, if not more, essentially taking him out of the playoff race, but possibly allowing him back in time for the actual postseason.
As it happened before the trade deadline, this isn't likely to do much to impede the Yankees' playoff aspirations. Rodriguez has been solid in 2012, but not especially A-Rodesque, at least not in the way we generally think of him. He's an all-time great, but he's also 36 now, and has hit .275/.358/.455 over the last two seasons, for an OPS+ of 115. That's productive, for sure, and better than what many teams get out of third, but it's not like losing a younger version of him, the one that put up a 143 OPS+ from 1994 through 2010.
For now, Eric Chavez will likely be the club's third baseman, but there's still six days before the trade deadline, too. The Yankees could very easily upgrade, were they so inclined. Buster Olney suggests Chase Headley might be a target. That's a move that makes too much sense not to happen, since Rodriguez could become the club's DH in the future, with Headley's glove, .306/.389/.476 road line the last two years, and two remaining years of team control taking over at the hot corner. Headley is highly underrated, relatively inexpensive, especially on the Yankees, and is younger than quite a few of their regulars. He'd be worth sending prospects out for, too, given he is far from just a rental.
In essence, if you're a Red Sox fan -- a highly likely scenario given you're reading this -- you should be hoping that the Yankees don't realize how smart this move would be.