Who replaces A-Rod?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- No matter the animosity so many Yankees fans feel toward Alex Rodriguez, he is one of the greats of the game. He has won two MVPs as a Yankee. His bat led them to a championship in 2009.

But this is how it ends, even for the greats. From bad to worse to it finally ending. That date, 2017, when his contract mercifully runs out, seems even further away today.

In the meantime, this is another chapter in the A-Rod story. Another hip surgery is on the horizon. This is never good news for anyone, but it is especially bad for a professional athlete. Especially one expected to perform like one of the best players in his sport -- even if that is very unrealistic at this point.

A-Rod was already working with one surgically-repaired hip. Now, he is going to have a second. He is likely going to miss most of, if not all of, the first half of the season.

So the Yankees need a serious replacement. Can Eric Chavez do the job again? Do they ask Jayson Nix or Eduardo Nunez to step up? Or do they go outside and try to find a replacement in a weak market?

I don't expect the Yankees to break the bank, but here are four names of players who might be possibilities:

1. Jeff Keppinger

2. Chavez

3. Placido Polanco

4. Brandon Inge

More are here at our Free Agent Tracker.

The man who will ultimately have to answer the question of A-Rod's replacement is Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who arrives at the winter meetings on Monday.

QUESTION: What would you do at third?