New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is apparently ready to return to action. The 37-year-old slugger claims he expects to be back with the team on Monday against the Texas Rangers.
Rodriguez has missed the entire 2013 season so far, as he has been recovering from offseason surgery on his hip. In 10 minor league rehab games he is hitting just .179 (5-for-28) with one home run and seven strikeouts.
A-Rod isn’t the player he was years ago but there is probably still some life in his bat. In 122 games in 2012, he hit .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs. Since playing 158 games in 2007, he has battled continuous injuries, but he hit 95 home runs in three seasons from 2008 to 2010. In 2011 hit 16 in only 99 games.
At this point, Rodriguez is the kind of player you can’t rule out from having hot stretches, but he isn’t the dominating hitter he was when he was younger. His OPS has steadily declined since its peak at 1.067 in 2007. But the Yankees are paying him $28 million for this season, so you can bet they’re going to play him. He is also still owed $86 million over the next four seasons following 2013.
Of course, given that Major League Baseball has threatened suspensions in the Biogenesis scandal, Rodriguez may not actually play much this season. Whatever happens you can expect a circus once A-Rod is back in uniform in the Bronx.
Rodriguez currently has 2,901 career hits, which puts in 37th place all-time. Meanwhile his 647 home runs put him in fifth (Willie Mays is fourth with 660) and his 1,950 RBIs have him in seventh place (Stan Musial is next up with 1,951).