Alex Rodriguez can't be easily replaced, Yankees GM Brian Cashman says. (Associated Press)
Brian Cashman wants to rebut the conventional wisdom that says the New York Yankees are just fine with Alex Rodriguez's suspension.
Conspiracy theories swirled this season before Rodriguez returned from injury — that the Yankees were purposefully keeping him out of the lineup to collect insurance money.
But whether suspended or injured, Cashman is making clear that the Yankees "can't replace" Rodriguez in their lineup, and that he's indispensable.
"If it comes down to, would we want the player we signed to be playing that position without any problems? Absolutely, no question about that," Cashman said on ESPN Radio's "Ian O'Connor Show" Sunday.
"I think if people think there's some sort of benefit by losing that talent, I mean, you can't replace it. It's not like, all right, well, Alex is gone. If he winds up getting suspended and it's upheld, how do you replace that? It's not easy.
"It's not like, all right, we'll take that money and go in this direction. I think ... our fan base saw when we lost significant players at various positions, it was not easy to plug holes because the talent just doesn't exist."
Upon his return from injury last season, Rodriguez provided an offensive upgrade at third base for the Yankees. He hit .244 with seven homers, 19 RBI and a .771 OPS in 44 games.
Earlier this month, Rodriguez sued MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig
, accusing them of a "witch hunt." The suit was filed during the first week of hearings in the grievance from the Major League Baseball Players Association to overturn the 211-game suspension MLB imposed on Rodriguez on Aug. 5.