Due to the roller coaster ride that is Alex Rodriguez's life, the Yankees have been without a full-time third baseman for several years now. What is the best option for next season?
A-Rod's suspension for his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal will be lifted in 2015, so the Yankees could make him their everyday third baseman. On the one hand, he is signed through 2017, and it would be nice to see him make positive contributions to the team. Even through his injuries and shortened seasons, he's still been good with a bat. He only made it into 44 games in 2013, but he still hit .244/.348/.423 with 7 home runs and 113 wRC+.
The team could also decide to eat the $61 million left on his contract and just release him. After the media circus, and the fact that he filed (then dropped) a lawsuit against the Yankees team doctor, Christopher Ahmad, the team might be ready to cut ties. There's also no telling how A-Rod would play after missing an entire year. For one thing, he hasn't played anywhere near a full season since 2010, he's had multiple hip surgeries, and he will turn 40 next season. None of those things inspire confidence in his ability to play third base.
The Yankees could also decide to re-sign Headley. Though his numbers are down this season, he's currently batting .232/.304/.359 with 9 home runs and 91 wRC+. He's been worth 2.5 fWAR, and defensively sound at third base, with 9.8 UZR/150, compared to A-Rod's -2.2 UZR/150. The Yankees could even re-sign Headley and still bring A-Rod back. If he shows that he is still able to hit, Rodriguez could DH and and occasionally spell Headley at third. This scenario is much better than any involving A-Rod as the only third baseman.
If they don't re-sign Headley, the Yankees could always sign one of the other players who will be a free agent in 2015. That list includes Ty Wigginton, Pablo Sandoval, Donnie Murphy, Casey McGehee, Alberto Callaspo, and Wilson Betemit. Jack Hannahan, Nick Punto and Aramis Ramirez all have team options for 2015. Wigginton was released by the Marlins before the 2014 season started, and hasn't been picked up by another team, so hopefully not him. Murphy was released by the Rangers and is now playing in Triple-A with the Cardinals. Betemit has spent his season with the Rays Triple-A team. Of these options, McGehee and Sandoval are having the best seasons. McGehee has been great with the Marlins, hitting .300/.370/.379 with 112 wRC+. Sandoval is batting .283/.330/.438 with 14 home runs and 119 wRC+, and he has consistently put those numbers up over his career.
Someone from the system
Finally, the Yankees could decide to promote from within. This scenario is the least likely to happen, but still worth mentioning. Jose Pirela and Adonis Garcia are both hitting really well, but neither has played more than twenty games at third base, so they probably don't stand a shot. Rob Segedin has only recently been promoted to Triple-A. Zelous Wheeler is there too, and he's been hitting well (.286/.356/.450), and while he has the most experience, there's still no way that this happens. The Yankees would almost certainly trot A-Rod out there before they would ever just let someone from the system replace him.
Whether the Yankees re-sign Headley will probably come down to how he finishes the season. If he plays well, he could be the best option for third base next season. The Yankees could then either rid themselves of Alex Rodriguez entirely, or give him a shot at the DH role. If Headley finishes the season poorly, the team could go after a free agent, or promote someone from the farm. Just letting A-Rod rejoin the team and play third base is also an option. Which would you prefer?