The expendable Alex Rodriguez

The Yankees would be better off with Alex Rodriguez, but they aren't exactly in danger without him. AP Photo/Ben Margot)

When the New York Yankees take the field Sunday night for the finale of their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, they'll do so without the highest-paid player in baseball, Alex Rodriguez. In fact, it will mark the fourth consecutive game without their regular third baseman, who's expected to miss six to eight weeks after his left hand was fractured by a Felix Hernandez pitch.

In A-Rod's place, facing Boston left-hander Felix Doubront, will likely be Jayson Nix, an infielder who joined the Yankees in November on a minor league contract. The very same Nix who's played for five major league clubs during the past five seasons. The same Nix who entered play Saturday hitting .211/.281/.374 in about 1,000 career plate appearances. The same Nix, that is, who's more or less a living, breathing definition of freely available talent.

And here's the thing: Rodriguez's absence won't matter that much -- not to the outcome of this game, not to the outcome of the Yankees' season.