Tuesday's roundup: Cashman says A-Rod is Yankees DH

Associated Press

New York — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says Alex Rodriguez's days as an everyday fielder are over.

At best, he hopes Rodriguez will be New York's full-time designated hitter.

Cashman confirmed Tuesday that Chase Headley will be the starting third baseman for the Yankees after he and the team agreed to a $52 million, four-year contract this week.

Coming off a season-long suspension for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract, Rodriguez will be relegated to a designated hitter role in manager Joe Girardi's lineup.

Cashman said the three-time MVP will have to compete with Martin Prado for time as Headley's backup at third.

"I can't expect Alex to be anything," Cashman said during a telephone interview. "I've got to think the worst and hope for the best. Even before the suspension, he wasn't the same player at third base on the defensive or offensive side. And that was before the suspension.

"And now he's been out of the game for a year. He's approaching 40 years of age. And just to automatically assume given his circumstances that he'll be able to plug right in, play third as an everyday guy and hold up and be productive, I think that would be dangerous thinking from my perspective, in the seat I'm sitting in."

Rodriguez turns 40 in July and has not played a full season since 2007 because of leg injuries, operations on both hips and the suspension.

"So given all that circumstance, we look forward to him hopefully solidifying himself as a tremendous DH for us, and if he shows he has retained athleticism, then he can play third as a choice when Joe decides to give Headley a rest," Cashman said. "He can compete for Joe's thought process, whether it's Prado swinging over or Alex playing third."

Cashman said he has not spoken with Rodriguez about his new role.

"I don't need to," he said. "I've been very consistent with my conversations publicly from October on.

"I have not heard from Alex on any of that, and I know he reads all this stuff."

Around the horn

A South Florida businessman pleaded guilty to taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig out of Cuba in return for a sizable cut of the outfielder's multimillion-dollar salary.

Gilberto Suarez, 40, entered the plea before District Judge Robert Scola, who set a March 6 sentencing date.

The alien smuggling conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

... The Angels acquired outfielder Matt Joyce, a former Tigers player, from the Rays for right-handed reliever Kevin Jepsen.

... First baseman Mike Morse has agreed to a two-year contract with the Marlins pending a physical.

... Right-hander Gavin Floyd agreed to a $4 million, one-year deal with the Indians, giving him a chance to make a comeback from his latest elbow surgery.

The deal allows him to earn an additional $6 million in performance bonuses.

Floyd, 31, broke a bone in his elbow while throwing a curveball with Atlanta last June.

He had surgery and couldn't resume throwing until after the season.

... Chris Capuano is staying with the Yankees. The left-hander, 36, agreed to a $5 million, one-year contract.

He started last season with Boston and had a 4.55 ERA in 28 relief appearances.

He was released July 1 and signed with Colorado three days later but never made it to the majors with the Rockies.

New York purchased his contract July 24, and he was 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 12 starts for the Yankees.

... The Rangers signed Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa to a one-year deal with a club option for 2016.

... The Rockies added former Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalso with a $3.6 million, two-year contract.

... Rays left-hander Jake McGee had arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow.