When the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez (and money) from the Texas Rangers back in February 2004, New York lost Alfonso Soriano and minor leaguer Joaquin Arias in the trade.
At the time, Arias was a prospect – but not a blue-chipper. Soriano, then 28-years-old, was an All-Star type player albeit with some holes in his game.
Therefore, if the Yankees were to now trade A-Rod, I suggest that it would only be reasonable to expect something like the package of Soriano & Arias in return – and, actually, maybe something a little less considering that the Yankees will not be off-setting Rodriguez’ pay (like the Rangers did when they threw money into the 2004 trade).
Yes, I’m saying – should the Yankees trade Alex Rodriguez this winter – that Yankees fans should be happy if New York gets two players in return: One player at or near All-Star status who can help the team at the major league level in 2007 and one minor league Grade-B prospect.
If the Yankees can get this package, and find a team willing to take on A-Rod’s contract, as well as the new team being a franchise that Alex would accept, then it’s O.K. to pull the trigger.
Making trades is all about having leverage. The Yankees do not have huge leverage in shopping A-Rod. There are only a few teams that can afford him and only a sub-set of those teams which Alex would accept in a trade. If the Yankees can strike a deal with one of those few teams in that “sub-set” and they can get that major-league ready player to help next season and a prospect as well, I can live with that deal.
To expect anything more than that would be ignoring the facts that are in play with this situation.