Inbox: Does A-Rod need more surgery?
Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers Yanks fans' questions
I don't remember hearing anything about A-Rod's potential additional hip surgery after the season. What's the latest on the injury that he was dealing with that we kept hearing about?
-- Doug T., Tulsa, Okla.
There's a very good chance that Rodriguez will not need the additional procedure, because he was able to come back so strong and the Yankees eventually followed the plan to give him additional rest through the second half of the season.
Dr. Marc Philippon performed the surgery on Rodriguez in March, and he was on the field at Yankee Stadium for the playoffs, raving about A-Rod's condition. With every batting practice home run Rodriguez slugged into the seats, Philippon grinned like a proud father.
"Clinically, he certainly doesn't need any intervention at this time," Philippon said then. "His power is excellent and his rotation in his hip is excellent. For us, clinically, we couldn't be more pleased."
Philippon added that he saw Rodriguez progress from 80 percent strength in May to 95 percent strength during the playoffs. He said that he expected Rodriguez to be 100 percent for Spring Training.
How will last year's payouts to Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett affect the way Brian Cashman handles this offseason?
-- David H., Ridgewood, N.J.
The Yanks won't be cutting another $423.5 million in checks, but there will be some spending on the agenda. Cashman said that the spree the Yankees went on last winter helped set the groundwork and cut down the necessity of a similar blitz to a lesser market in 2009-10.
"I'm really pleased about the financial commitments we were allowed to make last winter," Cashman said. "We're urgent to get the best team we can put forward, given whatever the budget number is going to be. But I'm glad we did what we did last year, because it puts us in a much better place moving forward as we enter this winter signing season."
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What are the chances of the Yankees having Joe Mauer in their plans? Do the Yankees have a long-range goal of getting Mauer this season?
-- David S., Key West, Fla.
That'd answer a lot of questions about who will take over for Jorge Posada, wouldn't it? But the Twins are interested in working out a contract extension to keep Mauer, and he really should be the franchise talent as they open Target Field and beyond. Should he ever come loose, the Yankees would certainly be involved, but Mauer will have every chance to stay at home.
With Jorge Posada aging, what are the chances the Yankees will allow Francisco Cervelli to assume the starting catcher role? He did a phenomenal job over the summer.
-- Joan Y., Mount Laurel, N.J.
In 2010? Not likely. As long as he's healthy, I think you need to be able to count on Posada to catch the majority of the games behind the plate. As far as the future goes, Cervelli stepped up in a season when the Yankees didn't expect all that much from him at the big league level.
It's easy to forget that Cervelli wasn't even hitting .200 at Double-A Trenton when he was promoted, yet he wasn't shy about forcefully taking charge with pitchers like Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, and even came through with clutch hits for New York. Cervelli's emergence will give the Yankees an option should they choose not to bring back Jose Molina.
Can you settle the conflicting reports arising during coverage of the playoffs? Did Posada get a 1996 World Series ring, or was his first from 1998?
-- Mike M., Milwaukee, Wis.
According to Debbie Tymon, the Yankees' senior vice president for marketing and the go-to person on such items, Posada did indeed receive a 1996 World Series ring.
What kind of future do you see Alfredo Aceves and Ramiro Pena having with the Yankees?
-- Mauricio M., Mexico City, Mexico
Pena did a lot of things right to impress the Yankees. They love his glove and willingness to help the team, and if a player like Jerry Hairston Jr. doesn't return in 2010, Pena should be considered again to make the roster. Aceves figures to be fighting for a similar role as a long reliever and spot starter. His experience helps, and as a low-risk addition, the Yankees should keep using him until he becomes ineffective.
What's going to happen to Chad Gaudin? Has he made enough of an impression to be brought back for next season?
-- Matthew C., Brooklyn, N.Y.
In the chances that he received, Gaudin definitely showed that he could be a helpful part of the '10 Yankees, and it wasn't his fault that he only pitched one inning in the playoffs. Expect to see him back trying to wedge into the back end of the rotation next spring, along with the likes of Ian Kennedy, Sergio Mitre, Aceves and other candidates.
Of all the Yankees' free agents, the one I would hate to part with the most is Xavier Nady. I like his attitude, and all-around fielding and hitting abilities. What are the chances of the Yankees re-signing him?
-- Gary D., Flagstaff, Ariz.
I wouldn't rule out his return, but it would be difficult to predict what he'll produce coming off a second Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. He'll start throwing in December and the talent is there -- he was the starting right fielder on Opening Day, after all. He needs a chance to prove his value again and resume his career, but that could just as easily come with another team.
Should the Yankees bring Bernie Williams back as a coach?
-- Max S., Fort Myers, Fla.
I'd love to see Bernie drop by Spring Training as one of the "celebrity" instructors and spend a few weeks with the guys. It was a blast having him in camp this year as he prepared for the World Baseball Classic. But between his musical career and the travel grind of coaching, a full-time job doesn't seem like something he'd be into.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.