New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday that embattled third baseman Alex Rodriguez will be the team's starting third baseman next year.
"I expect Alex to be our every-day third baseman," Girardi told reporters at his end-of-the-year news conference. "What is he going to have to show me? That he is healthy and ready to go. That's the bottom line -- that he has no concerns and we have no concerns about putting him out there every day."
Rodriguez was benched for three of nine postseason games, including the Game 4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. He went 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers.
General manager Brian Cashman recently said that dealing Rodriguez would be "unrealistic," while acknowledging that he would listen to offers. He also said that he expected Rodriguez to start.
"It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything," Cashman told ESPNNewYork's 98.7 FM on Sunday. "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.
"He's still an above-average third baseman. ... That means, despite the contract that we had committed to him, that he's an asset at this stage still. I don't see us doing anything there. I don't anticipate it. If someone wants to make phone calls, we're more than willing to do all that stuff with any of our players, and that's fine. You can run into something that way."
---The Los Angeles Dodgers are discussing opening the 2014 season In Australia, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Officials from MLB, the Australian Baseball League and Destination NSW are looking into the possibility of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Sydney Cricket Ground.
The project has reportedly been in the works for "several years, but the identity of teams has been a heavily guarded secret," the paper said.