Yankees' lineup: What does it mean long-term?

Elsa - Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez is not in the New York Yankees' lineup for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. Neither is Nick Swisher.

The lineup manager Joe Girardi chose to post for Tuesday night's must-win game with the Yankees trailing 2-0 in the series likely has ramifications far beyond anything that happens on Tuesday.

It likely means that Swisher, a free agent this winter who has been whining about the treatment he received recently from Yankees' fans and who has consistently been a post-season failure, is done in New York. Even if he plays again in this series he would seem certain to not be invited back this winter.

Really, though, having Eric Chavez play third base has to be considered an indication that Girardi no longer see A-Rod as a star. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Rodriguez, 37, has five years remaining on his $275-million deal.

What will the Yankees do with him? Are they stuck, for the next five years, with a part-time third baseman/DH still owed something like $130 million? Would they be able to find a taker for A-Rod during the offseason, even if they have to swallow most of the contract just to get him out of town?

On the other hand, is this Girardi putting his neck on the line and saying, 'if I'm going down, I'm not going down with that guy in the lineup.'

The only thing that is certain is that Girardi has posted a very interesting lineup this evening, and that no matter what happens Tuesday night or the remainder of the postseason this suddenly looks like a very interesting offseason in the Bronx.

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