Brian Cashman said Alex Rodriguez is no longer a superstar but an "above-average" player, and would not rule out a trade for the Yankees third baseman. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman conceded that Alex Rodriguez is no longer a "superstar" and said he would not rule out trading the team's third baseman if the right offer came along this offseason.
As the embattled Rodriguez continued to struggle in the postseason, trade rumors popped up involving the Miami Marlins. But while speaking to ESPN's Ian O'Connor Sunday on ESPNNewYork radio, Cashman said a Rodriguez trade doesn't seem "realistic" at this point.
"It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything," Cashman said. "You're talking about realistic stuff and unrealistic stuff. I don't think it's realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base. [...]
"But listen, the sooner we put to bed any expectation or anticipation that the Yankees are going to be solely focused on trying to move Alex Rodriguez. ... I think that would be false."
Cashman did admit, however, that Rodriguez is entering a declining stage of his career. Rodriguez still has five years and $114 million left on a 10-year, $275 million contract he signed after the 2007 season.
"Do I expect him to return to the MVP-caliber type Alex Rodriguez? No," Cashman said. "Obviously you decline with age, and he's getting up there in his age. ... But despite the age where he's at, he's still an above-average player at that position.
"Is he a superstar at that position? No."
After the Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series, a defiant Alex Rodriguez said he would “be back” next season and had no plans to waive his trade clause.
"That's correct. I will be back. I have a lot to prove," he said.
Rodriguez struggled through an abysmal postseason, hitting just .111 through the two series. He was benched for Games 3 and 4 of the ALCS by Yankees manager Joe Girardi.