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Report: A-Rod Still Thinks Third-Base Job Is His To Lose

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It seems Alex Rodriguez isn't ready to give up his position without a fight.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced last month that Chase Headley -- re-signed to a four-year, $52 million deal -- would be New York's everyday third baseman in 2015. Approaching 40 years old, with two surgically repaired hips and coming off a one-year suspension, A-Rod would be relegated to serving as the team's designated hitter.

Apparently he didn't get that memo.

"Alex's mind is that job's not Headley's, it's Alex's to lose," an unnamed source told Newsday. "That's what he thinks. Alex is going into training camp thinking that he is the starting third baseman, that if there's a competition, Headley's got to win it from him. It doesn't matter about the money, what they signed Headley for. This guy (Rodriguez) can play."

Cashman -- who said in December that he "can't expect (A-Rod) to be anything" -- responded to the newspaper: "We signed our third baseman, but Alex has to come in to compete for as much playing time as he can possibly get, so I would expect him to come in to be a two-way player, which is offense and defense."

Rodriguez was forced to sit out the entire 2014 season in the wake of baseball's investigation into the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal.

The three-time MVP didn't sound like someone ready to rock the boat when reached for comment this week by another local newspaper.

"I'm feeling really, really good," Rodriguez told the New York Post. "I've been working hard, doing a lot of plyometrics, and I am so excited for spring training and to be back with my teammates."

One of A-Rod's pals told the Post that the embattled All-Star "is looking at this season as a fresh start" and is "prepared to do the best he can in his role as a DH, but he is also preparing to play third base, knowing there will be times that Headley needs a break."

Rodriguez hit .244 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs after returning from hip surgery in 2013. He's owed $61 million through 2017, not including bonuses for ascending the all-time home runs list. He's six dingers behind Willie Mays (660).

The Yankees acquired Headley from San Diego ahead of last season's trading deadline. The 30-year-old hit .262 with six home runs and 17 RBIs in 58 games with New York.


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