Why Yankees need Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez can still be an above average hitter, something New York desperately needs. Anthony Gruppuso/US Presswire

The last time the baseball world saw Alex Rodriguez, he was suffering through one of the more dismal Octobers in recent memory. Rodriguez managed a mere three singles over seven games against the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers, but the box score really doesn't tell the entire story. He was regularly benched and pinch hit for during the playoffs, a prospect that would have seemed unthinkable just months earlier.

Since then, everything new we've heard about Rodriguez has been problematic. In January, he underwent surgery to repair a torn hip labrum that had been bothering him during the playoffs and has kept him from playing in 2013. A few weeks ago, his name once again came up at the center of the ongoing Biogenesis PED scandal that Major League Baseball wants so badly to come down hard on him and others for.

It's probably not a stretch to suggest that Rodriguez is the least popular name in baseball these days, and as he turns 38 next month, he's clearly a shell of the dominant superstar he once was. Considering that the Yankees have jumped out to a surprising 39-33 start without him, more than a few New York fans would be all too happy to see him quietly go away and never come back, despite the four years and $86 million he still has coming to him after this season.

But for all the baggage he brings, the Yankees could really use him right about now.