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Alex Rodriguez will leave Chase Headley, and others, on the outside looking in with the Yankees

The Yankees are sending the wrong message to Chase Headley by saying that Alex Rodriguez will be their third baseman

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Reuniting with Chase Headley next year makes a lot of sense. He won't be the best option out there with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez hitting the free agent market at the same time, but he'll be more reasonable. The team is already constrained by massive contracts for declining veterans like CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira, but Headley might be the right fit for the Yankees in 2015. It makes perfect sense to bring Headley back; the only complication is Alex Rodriguez. (of course!)

While Headley and the Yankees have yet to officially discuss a possible reunion, it seems that the third baseman is open to coming back. As long as the terms are favorable:

Despite having a lousy first half, he ended up hitting .262/.371/.398 with great defense at the hot corner and adding 2.7 WAR for the Yankees. It's definitely earned him the right to start naming his own terms. The problem is that it appears, maybe only in public, that they're welcoming Alex Rodriguez back with open arms and, worst of all, giving him the run of the yard:

Whether this is the organization's actual thoughts on the matter or just something to say publicly to downplay the drama, it's still the wrong thing to say. By essentially telling the world that A-Rod already has his spot locked up, it's going to discourage players from wanting to come to the Bronx. While Girardi did also say that they'd have to see how he does in spring training, that's still also far too late to be signing anyone anyway, so that part of the statement really doesn't matter. Declaring A-Rod the starting third baseman right now is only going to push Chase Headley, and any other free agents that could possibly fit the 3B/1B/DH niche, away because their playing time is going to be put at risk by a player that is making a lot more money than them. That will leave the Yankees in another situation where they'll have to rely on someone like Eric Chavez or Kevin Youkilis if they don't just go with Brendan Ryan as the backup third baseman.

The Yankees need Headley, they don't need a 39-year-old Alex Rodriguez who hasn't played a full season in years and didn't play over the last year. They should open their arms for potential additions and make Rodriguez an afterthought. Instead, it feels like the Yankees have already gotten off to a poor start in the 2014-2015 offseason, and while those comments might end up being meaningless in a few months, right now they speak volumes upon volumes to someone like Chase Headley.