Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 10/14/13

The consensus among Yankees fans is that the team would be better off if Alex Rodriguez's suspension is upheld — sidelining the maligned player all of next season and keeping his bloated $25 million salary from making it almost impossible for the Yankees to get below the $189 luxury tax threshold. That's what the fans believe. Speaking on ESPN Radio's "The Ian O'Connor Show" Sunday, Brian Cashman reiterated that it would more difficult to find a productive third baseman to replace A-Rod than it would be to keep the payroll under the luxury tax threshold — even with his budget-busting $25 million payout. "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," the Yankees general manager said. "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." The numbers speak for themselves. Limited by injuries, the 38-year-old Rodriguez hit .244 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 44 games for an anemic Yankees team last season. His 654 career homers leave him six shy of Willie Mays' career total and a $6 million bonus negotiated into his 10-year, $305 million deal signed after the 2007 season. "It’s not like going down to a Home Depot and pulling something out that you need that’s broke and you’ve got to fix it," Cashman said of the possible void at third base. Rodriguez’s appeal of his 211-game PED suspension is expected to resume later this week.

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