NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Alex Rodriguez is going to miss the beginning of the 2013 season due to upcoming hip surgery, but New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman doesn't feel compelled to find another third baseman.
"I don't want to overreact," Cashman said Monday during the first day of baseball's Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort.
"We're looking at the opportunities out there whether it be trades or with free agents, but we're still looking to strengthen the overall team first. We've had adversity before. We've had lost players for a large chunk of seasons before and we've been able to overcome it. Every team has to overcome injuries.
That was the case last season when the Yankees won the American League East title even though all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera pitched in just nine games because of a knee injury and left fielder Brett Gardner was limited to 16 games due to a shoulder injury.
Rodriguez will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left hip at a date to be determined in January to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst. He underwent a similar surgery on his right hip in 2009.
The expected recovery time for Rodriguez's surgery is four-to-six months, which means he could possibly be out until the All-Star break.
Rodriguez first told manager Joe Girardi he was ailing after being pinch-hit for in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles. At the time, Rodriguez thought the problem was with his right hip and he underwent an MRI at New York Presbyterian Hospital following the game.
The MRI showed no damage and Rodriguez continued to play throughout the postseason as the Yankees beat the Orioles before being swept by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. He batted just .120 (3-for-25) in seven postseason games and struck out 12 times in 27 plate appearances.
The fact that Rodriguez's left hip was damaged wasn't discovered until his regularly scheduled annual November examination in Vail, Colo., with Marc Philippon, who performed the 2009 surgery. The diagnosis was confirmed by orthopedist Bryan Kelly, who will perform the upcoming operation at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
While Cashman said he does not feel pressured to make a move for a third baseman, the Yankees have no ready-made solutions in their organization. David Adams is the on the 40-man roster but has not played above the Class AA level, hitting .306 in 86 games for Trenton last season with eight home runs and 48 RBIs.
Cashman all but ruled out moving backup shortstop Eduardo Nunez to third base. The Yankees may need Nunez to stay at shortstop as Derek Jeter is recovering from surgery to repair the broken left ankle he suffered during Game 1 of the ALCS.
There are no premier third basemen on the free agent market this winter. Kevin Youkilis is the only free agent at the positions who had at least 500 plate appearances last season, and he hit a combined .235 with 19 home runs in 122 games with the Red Sox and White Sox.
"It's not like we're going to be without Alex all year," Cashman said. "His work ethic is legendary and he will be working with outstanding doctors. I'm confident he will come back and be a productive player again."