So, it's no wonder that Yankees manager Joe Girardi is making it ever more clear that A-Rod's not getting the Jeter stroke.
But, per ESPN, despite the Yankees outperforming their Pythagorean expectation this year, it's yet another issue that still brings into question Girardi's managerial chops.
Second, his rant a week ago about this year's team rained on the Yankees' player retirement time for Jeter, and worse. Girardi clearly irritated Carlos Beltran and possibly others.
Beyond that, with that offensive turkey of a lineup the Yankees had this year not guaranteed to get any better, the Yankees need A-Rod, as Ian O'Conner notes. In my opinion, they won't resign Chase Headley, and, whether Girardi likes it or not, A-Rod is a sunk cost in the Steinbrenners' eyes. Unless he sinks to Stephen Drew level, he's staying with the Yankees.
Also, per O'Conner? While A-Rod isn't the leadership type, I'm not sure Brian McCann is. We shall see.
Anyway, back to the main point. If Girardi gives A-Rod a cold shoulder during the season, despite him playing as well as, say 2012, on top of his rant, it may damage team chemistry further.
A-Rod's possible performance? Girardi and other talk about him being rusty, as well as older.
Well, what if the year's rest healed him up a bit? I could see 110 games at 3B, coming out for defensive needs at times, 35 at DH as part of a rotation, and 15 or so days off entirely. That would play him a little bit more than in 2012. If that happens, and he posts 2012 numbers next year, he's worth 2.5 WAR, maybe a touch more.
No, that's not worth his contract, but it's not nothing, either.
As for Girardi? It wouldn't surprise me if the 2015 Yankees get off to a bad start, especially if they're below Pythagorean, to become a stereotypical Buck Showalter and rub players too long the wrong way. And, especially if Masahiro Tanaka's last outing of this year wasn't 100 percent due to bad control, but also a wing that's still not perfect, this could all very easily happen.