The Yankees are dealing with how to replace an aging player whose injuries and declining production make it hard for the team to count on him for much of anything even as they pay him a gargantuan salary.
You probably think that you've guessed the subject of the above sentence, but you haven't. We're not talking about Alex Rodriguez.
We're talking about Mark Teixeira, whose wrist injury was given a 30 percent chance of ending his season in an updated prognosis handed down over the weekend. The Yankees won't know if the torn tendon in his wrist will need season-ending surgery until he rests it for the next two months, which means the team won't be making any moves to replace him permanently at present.
"If we knew he wouldn't be back, it would be a different story," general manager Brian Cashman said. "But for now, we're going to play it out."
Given the way the last few years have gone, the Yankees are going to be doing a lot of gritting their teeth and playing it out with Teixeira in the near future. Teixeira is signed though 2016 and making $22.5 million per year over that span, which means he's about as untradeable a player as there is in Major League Baseball.
All of which would be okay if not for the fact that Teixeira has been steadily declining at the plate over the last three years while picking up the kinds of injuries that we've grown to associate with a body that's also in decline. Muscle pulls and a torn tendon in the wrist during batting practice don't auger well for the future, much like A-Rod's hip issues are a sign that he's done as an everyday player.
The Yankees are doing everything in their power to change the way they do business heading into 2014 and beyond, which is only a problem because the way they've been doing business is leaving them short on the necessary talent they'll need to spend less and keep winning.
A-Rod's an albatross, Teixeira is heading in that direction and that's going to eat up almost a quarter of their payroll in the next few years for a pair of players that can't be counted on to do anything other than cash their checks.