For now, Alex Rodriguez has one job: help the New York Yankees at the plate. 

Despite the Yanks signing third baseman Chase Headley to a four-year deal, and despite A-Rod turning 40 in July and not having played since 2013, general manager Brian Cashman told The Associated Press Tuesday, via, the polarizing veteran will still play a significant role in 2015: 

I can’t expect Alex to be anything. I’ve got to think the worst and hope for the best. Even before the suspension, he wasn’t the same player at third base on the defensive or offensive side. And that was before the suspension.

And now he’s been out of the game for a year. He’s approaching 40 years of age. And just to automatically assume given his circumstances that he’ll be able to plug right in, play third as an everyday guy and hold up and be productive, I think that would be dangerous thinking from my perspective, in the seat I’m sitting in.

So given all that circumstance, we look forward to him hopefully solidifying himself as a tremendous DH for us.

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but Cashman is simply being realistic.     

Rodriguez’s glove was a detriment before the yearlong suspension, finishing 2013 with minus-three defensive runs saved and a minus-0.1 Ultimate Zone Rating, per FanGraphs. Relying on him as anything other than a backup at the hot corner would be a dangerous proposition. 

In the batter’s box, though, A-Rod can still help New York. 

Even with declining powerhis slugging percentage has dropped each of the last six seasonsRodriguez hit .244/.348/.423 in 2013. That would be an upgrade for the Yankees, who got a .233/.284/.395 slash line from their designated hitters in 2014, per FanGraphs

He won’t come close to providing value on his contract that pays him a humorous $61 million over the next three years. But an increased focus on hitting could see him approach .260 with somewhere around 15 to 20 home runs, perhaps.

At the end of the day, though, Rodriguez is at the very tail end of his career and hasn’t played a professional baseball game for a long time. 

He could very well help this team in a limited fashion, but Cashman is right to keep his expectations low.

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