When Brian Cashman is asked to define Alex Rodriguez, it is not an easy task. During a word-association game for a Sunday Conversation with Buster Olney, Cashman mixed the positive, the negative and the scandals as he described A-Rod.
"Complicated," Cashman said of Rodriguez. "It's kind of like the Clint Eastwood movie, 'The Good The Bad and the Ugly.'"
During the interview, Cashman called Mariano Rivera "the greatest reliever of all time. Humble. The most humblest person of all time."
On Derek Jeter, Cashman simply called him the "face of the franchise."
For Robinson Cano, Cashman answered, "one of the best second basemen of this era and has a chance of being one of the best second basemen of all time."
Going further on Rodriguez, Cashman said that no one could ever live up to his current 10-year, $275 million contract, which could top $300 million with $30 million of milestone home run bonuses. The deal will conclude when Rodriguez turns 42. He turns 38 in July.
"It's something I think even Alex would tell you, he couldn't live up to that," Cashman said. "It's an enormous contract and I think that, I would say probably, he couldn't live up to it but he's doing everything he can to try to do so."
Recovering from his second hip surgery, A-Rod is stillnot expected to return until after the All-Star break.
Cashman knows the MVP-caliber A-Rod is likely never coming back, but he could still be a plus third baseman.
"Hopefully he can return to being at the very least an above-average player at that position because that's what he's been for the last few years," Cashman said. "Once his injuries came into play with him, they may have taken away his ability to be a superstar. But he's still an above-average player at that position and hopefully that's what we're gonna get."