As season's end is right around the corner, and the Yankees are making an interesting run at the playoffs, one can't ignore that nagging thought; what if A-Rod leaves New York? He has an out clause in his contract, in case the Rangers weren't going anywhere and "A-Rod" needed a change of scenery. Are the Yanks prepared to deal with life after Alex? What are their options if they need to find a replacement at the hot corner?

Internal Options

1. Wilson Betemit; The 26 year old switch hitter, acquired from the Dodgers in the Scott Proctor trade, might be the Yanks best insurance. The trade looks like a preeminent strike against sudden departure. He's a lifetime .265 hitter and has a little pop that would look to improve with the short porch in right field. Betemit can play first base, shortstop, and second, which makes him a more valuable player. If the Yanks hold onto A-Rod, he's a huge upgrade offensively over Miguel Cairo, although Cairo's leadership and clubhouse presence will be missed.

2. Andy Phillips; Probably a long shot, this homegrown Yankee has rode the Columbus/Scranton shuttle quite a bit. His most recent stint in pinstripes has been better than his previous, but his glove work at third is suspect. He's good on the other corner of the diamond, but a move to third would signal the Yanks having exhausted all other options.

3. Eric Duncan; Get on the Duncan Bandwagon! Shelley, Chris (Cardinals) and....Eric? No relation, but can the Yanks catch lighting in a bottle with another Duncan in the Bronx? It's still a little early for the New Jersey native, he's only batting .231/9HR/41RBIs in AAA Scranton. He does have that last name though....

External Options

4. Mike Lowell; In line for a nice paycheck after what's turning out to be a monster season for the BoSocker. Red Sox would be hard pressed to let him leave, especially if he were leaving for Pinstripes.

5. Geoff Blum; 34 year old Padre becomes a free agent at the end of the season. He's no A-Rod, but he is a CHEAP and short term solution to buy Duncan an extra year in the minors. The Yanks have a new stadium in the near future, and to trot out a lineup of home grown players on opening day (Jeter, Posada, Melkey, Cano, Duncan, Phillips, Hughes, Chamberlin, etc) would make the pinstripes proud.