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Yankees GM says Alex Rodriguez could play 1B in 2015

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New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he doesn't assume Alex Rodriguez, back in 2015 after his year-long suspension, will be able to play third base all year, so the team is considering him as a potential first baseman as well.

Gregory Shamus

SB Nation 2014 MLB Bracket

The New York Yankees infield was already going to look quite different in 2015 than it had in years past, with the retirement of Derek Jeter. But the return of another, less beloved superstar in Alex Rodriguez doesn't bring any more clarity to the situation. In fact, the team is considering Rodriguez as a candidate to play first base next year.

"I don’t think it’s safe to assume that he can play third base. With his age and missing a full year, you have to have some perspective," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, per Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. "This is a very difficult game. Alex is up for that challenge, but I think it’s safer to assume that might not be something that he can handle the whole year."

Rodriguez has played 1,272 career games at shortstop, 1,189 games at third base, and 105 games at designated hitter. He has never played first base, or any other position.

But at age 39, returning after a year-long suspension stemming from the Biogenesis case, it's understandable that the Yankees are skeptical of just how effective or mobile Rodriguez will be in the field next season. After all, this is a player who missed nearly four months in 2013 after hip surgery, and from 2011-13 averaged only 88 games played per season.

Rodriguez has not played in more than 138 games in a season since 2007, when he last won the American League MVP award.

Whether Rodriguez is on board with the move isn't yet known as Cashman, who signed a three-year contract extension on Friday, didn't elaborate much.

"Joe Girardi conveyed to me that he talked to him recently about getting some work at first base," Cashman said, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. "Joe had a conversation with him recently about that. How extensive that conversation was, I don't know that he conveyed that to me."

Rodriguez did show some signs of life in his bat in the 44 games he did play in 2013, hitting .244/.348/.423, a 113 OPS+, with seven home runs. With 654 career home runs, Rodriguez ranks fifth all-time, just six behind Willie Mays.

Rodriguez's contract calls for a $6 million bonus upon hitting his 660th home run.

The contract also calls for Rodriguez to be paid $61 million in base salary for the next three seasons, including $21 million in 2015.

Mark Teixeira, who turns 35 in April, is the incumbent first baseman, but like Rodriguez has had trouble staying healthy in recent years. He played in 123 games in 2014 but hit only .216/.313/.398 with 22 home runs, and has averaged 87 games played in the last three seasons.

At $22.5 million per season for the next two years for Teixeira, the Yankees could have potentially the most expensive platoon in major league history in 2015. Whether it can be productive remains to be seen.