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This just isn’t the time for Yankees to trade Alex Rodriguez

Oct 19, 2012, 1:04 AM EST

Alex Rodriguez AP

As far as I can tell, Alex Rodriguez committed two crimes this month. He played pretty horribly in the playoffs, which hardly put him among the minority of Yankees hitters, and he embarrassed his team by reportedly trying to get a woman’s digits from the dugout.

In the case of the latter, absolutely no one would have have cared it he had hit .400 in the postseason instead of .100. He’s not the first or the 100th player to try to hook up from the dugout or bullpen. And one imagines he didn’t suddenly get the idea to try it for the first time in his 2,595th major league game.

As for the former, well, he stunk up the joint, no doubt about it. And because of his salary and stature, he makes for an easy target. But it should be remembered that he was just 2 1/2 months removed from suffering a broken left hand. Even if that doesn’t explain the slow bat, it still gives him a better excuse for his struggles than anything Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson will be able to come up with.

Going forward, Rodriguez projects as a wildly overcompensated complimentary player. He’s 37, his OPS has declined five years running and he hasn’t played in more than 140 games since 2007. The $118 million he’ll make these next five years probably makes him a good $70 million-$80 million overpaid.

That said, his defense at third isn’t bad and he’s never not been an above average hitter. Kevin Youkilis is pretty easily the best third baseman available in free agency, and if he’s a better bet than A-Rod for 2013, it’s only slightly. Both are injury prone, and Rodriguez was the superior hitter of the two this year. And considering what the Yankees would have to pay to get another team to take Rodriguez, they’d almost certainly have to spend more to replace him with Youkilis than they would if they kept him.

After Youkilis, there’s Scott Rolen, who will probably retire, and some singles-hitting stopgaps like Marco Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger, Placido Polanco and Maicer Izturis. The Yankees can re-sign Eric Chavez, but he’s not going to start.

So, if the Yankees actually want to improve their third base situation this winter, it’d likely mean giving up  at least two of their best prospects for San Diego’s Chase Headley. They could also try a prospect-for-prospect deal with the Rangers for Mike Olt, but again, that would hardly guarantee an immediate upgrade.

The way I see it, this is the worst possible time for the Yankees to trade Rodriguez. They’d have to eat the vast majority of his salary to make a deal, and they’d likely worsen the on-field product at the same time. There’s nothing to be gained except for appeasing the media and some loudmouth fans who won’t be any less likely to attend games next year just because A-Rod is still at the hot corner.

Now, there likely will come a time when eating Rodriguez’s salary in order to facilitate a deal will make sense, and the Yankees should definitely be on the lookout for a third baseman of the future if there’s one to be had. But if they trade A-Rod this winter, they’ll likely be worse for it.

113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. tashkalucy - Oct 19, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Buster Olney did a nice thing yesterday – he called up 3 or 4 GM’s he knows and asked them if A-Rod come on today’s market at age 37, what sort of contract could he get. The consensus was a short-term contract for $5 million a year.

    Anyone in the national media notice that the Tigers won 4 games in a row. As usual, the other teams don’t count when the Yankees or Red Sox lose. MLB is simply not a national sport anymore. It’s like the NBA – if your team is in the playoffs, then you watch. If your team isn’t in the playoffs – and the Yankees and Red Sox are eliminated – who cares? To the national media, what the Red Sox and Yankees do to retool is the story, not the World Series.

  2. weaselpuppy - Oct 19, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    burying a dograp trade offer in an avalanche of words and ramblings about logical fallacies still makes it a dogcrap offer. You were given what your proposal deserved…actually it deserves what Bin Laden got…a free ride out over the ocean, 2 in the back of the noggin and a free BASE jump w no parachute…

    • tashkalucy - Oct 19, 2012 at 7:57 PM

      So many Hunter Thompson wannabe’s….so little time.

  3. weaselpuppy - Oct 19, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    burying a dogcrap trade offer in an avalanche of words and ramblings about logical fallacies still makes it a dogcrap offer. You were given what your proposal deserved…actually it deserves what Bin Laden got…a free ride out over the ocean, 2 in the back of the noggin and a free BASE jump w no parachute…

  4. zerowolfe - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    yes,let’s keep that degenerate rodless on the team so he can smear the manager and demoralize his teammates…give him a raise!

  5. jprcox - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Why do teams like the Yankees not have clauses in the contract for at least certain levels of performace. I mean, if a player like ARod won’t agree that if he doesn’t hit at least .250 in the playoffs then he doesn’t get the same paycheck would be a no-brainer since ARod would never think of himself like that.

    Too late now, but why not associate some amount of protection for the team? Honestly, ARod could win a lot of points with NY fans in offering to help fund an offseason free-agent for how he played this year. Getting paid nearly $40m for .272 (approx) is CRAZY. He gives back $10m next year and it pays for a decent outfielder.

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