Grin and bear it
Give him a pay cut! They did, actually. His contract calls for his salary to drop from $29 million this year to $28 million next year.
The issue is not that Rodriguez cannot play. He batted .272 with 18 home runs and a .783 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). That's not bad for a third baseman. The issue is that A-Rod is becoming a complementary player, a good guy to bat sixth in the lineup. The Yankees' lineup is getting weaker as it gets older — Derek Jeter has aged gracefully, but Rodriguez and Mark Teixieira have not — and that leaves two big holes.
The Yankees didn't even have Rodriguez in the starting lineup for Friday's decisive Game 5 in the ALDS.
The best person to be this winter? Robinson Cano's agent.
Make him full-time DH
The Yankees had their chance to get ride of Alex Rodriguez in 2007, when he opted out of his contract after his best season, but couldn't bear the thought of his making history in other uniforms, so they re-upped for 10 more years and $300 million.
So it's not what the Yankees should do with A-Rod — no one is taking on that contract — but how do the Yankees make this work for another five years? They could, and should, begin transitioning him to a new role, befitting his age and remaining skills — full-time DH.
It would help keep him healthier and stronger over the run of a season. And it would allow the Yankees to move Derek Jeter to third base, a logical landing spot, and pursue a rangier shortstop.
Tell him to report in shape
Alex Rodriguez isn't going anywhere after the season. He'll be tied to the Yankees through 2017 because reports say he's owed $114 million. The only way a team would take him in a trade is if the Yankees picked up most or all of the remaining money on his contract. I doubt they will just dump him because even though it seems like the Yankees print money, $114 million is tough to swallow.
So here's what's likely to happen. He'll try to say all of the right things about agreeing with manager Joe Girardi's decision to bench him in Game 5 of the ALDS, and he'll try to get in shape in the offseason. He could stand to lose 20 pounds. It might help him defensively and with running.
Play him, hope for best
The Marlins are trying to figure what to do with Ozzie Guillen, right? And the Yankees would rather not have Alex Rodriguez tying up $114 million over the next five years, right? It's time to help each other.
The Yankees trade A-Rod to Florida, where he becomes player-manager and flashes his brilliant smile at cameras, and Guillen goes to the Yankees, who then can decide whether they want him to be a bench coach, a backup infielder or the host of a new game show on YES Network.
This is about as realistic as any other proposal about what to do with Rodriguez. Cross your fingers and play him. It's about all you can do.