• Thoughts On A-Rod To The White Sox

    Posted by on October 19th, 2006 · Comments (25)

    I was just looking at the remainder of Alex Rodriguez’ contract – with thoughts towards who else besides the Yankees can afford it. Here’s the remaining payout due A-Rod:

    2007: $27 million – $7 million paid by Texas
    2008: $27 million – $8 million paid by Texas
    2009: $27 million – $7 million paid by Texas
    2010: $27 million – $6 million paid by Texas

    But, after the 2008 or 2009 season, A-Rod can void the remainder on his contract unless his salary is increased to the higher of “$32 million” or “$1 million more than any other position player.”

    I would be shocked if any baseball player earned more than $27 million a year during the seasons of 2007-2009. Therefore, whoever owns Rodriguez better be prepared to raise his salary to $32 million a year after the 2008 season.

    Would a team call his bluff after 2008? Could they? By this, I mean, what if his team told him “We’re not giving you the $5 million raise – so, void your contract, if you want to go for that option”? Would this be possible? It doesn’t sound like the raise after 2008 is an automatic thing. More so, it sounds like it’s a way for Alex to get out of the deal if his team refuses to give him a raise.

    Of course, the team could refuse the raise and A-Rod could ignore his option to void the deal as well.

    In any event, it appears that the Yankees owe Alex at least $80 million over the next 4 years. The list of other teams that can afford a contract like that, outside of the Yankees, are the following:

    Boston Red Sox
    Los Angeles Angels
    Chicago White Sox
    New York Mets
    Los Angeles Dodgers
    Chicago Cubs
    Houston Astros
    Atlanta Braves
    San Francisco Giants
    St. Louis Cardinals
    Philadelphia Phillies
    Seattle Mariners
    Detroit Tigers
    Baltimore Orioles
    Toronto Blue Jays
    San Diego Padres

    You know that the Yankees will not trade A-Rod to the Red Sox or Mets. So, take them out of this mix. And, it would be a reach for the Astros, Braves and Padres to squeeze in Alex’s contract. Take them off the list here as well. Also, the Yankees would probably prefer to keep Rodriguez out of the A.L. East, so, that removes the Jays and Orioles. This leaves:

    Los Angeles Angels
    Chicago White Sox
    Los Angeles Dodgers
    Chicago Cubs
    San Francisco Giants
    St. Louis Cardinals
    Philadelphia Phillies
    Seattle Mariners
    Detroit Tigers

    Therefore, if the Yankees do trade A-Rod, soon, it will probably be to one of the nine teams listed above here. Since it’s reported that Alex would like to play somewhere that would lend towards day-trips to Miami, I would guess that makes the following teams to be the favorites – in terms of maybe landing him:

    Chicago White Sox
    Chicago Cubs
    St. Louis Cardinals
    Philadelphia Phillies
    Detroit Tigers

    Of these five teams, the White Sox stand out the most to me. Outside of Ozzie Guillen being their manager, they seems to be the perfect trading partner in a possible A-Rod deal. Their G.M. likes Alex and has dealt with Brian Cashman before – in another spot where the Yankees were trying to move a high-paid person out of New York.

    Perhaps Joe Crede and Brandon McCarthy from Chicago for A-Rod? Or, maybe Joe Crede and Josh Fields for A-Rod (and then the Yankees deal either Crede or Fields for pitching)?

    Crede is really just an average hitter – but, he can pick-it. Still, Crede is in chronic pain due to two herniated discs in his lower back. Therefore, I would prefer to see the Yankees get Brandon McCarthy and Josh Fields from the White Sox – in a trade for Alex Rodriguez. Let the White Sox figure out what to do with Crede from there.

    Comments on Thoughts On A-Rod To The White Sox

    1. baileywalk
      October 19th, 2006 | 12:08 pm

      I’ve seen this Joe Crede/McCarthy trade idea elsewhere and it’s HORRIBLE. Crede has a bad back and will be in for a payday in a few years. Taking him in a trade would be pointless — because he might be gone in two years or demand a ten-million-a-year contract. Plus McCarthy doesn’t have the number-one-starter potential some of the other names out there — like Billingsley — has. I don’t think Josh Fields/Brandon McCarthy does it. Not for A-Rod. MAYBE if they also threw in a bullpen arm.

      One idea that hasn’t been discussed much is a three-way trade. A three-way would certainly help the White Sox if they’re serious about this. It could get them a better young pitcher to go with McCarthy to sweeten the pot.

    2. MJ
      October 19th, 2006 | 12:28 pm

      A bit of wishful thinking first – I’d love to see ARod get traded to the Mets where he “always wanted to be” as he said in 2001. It would be great fun seeing him get a change of scenery but still sweat it out in city populated by people that can’t stand him (author included).

      With respect to the contract escalator, I think any GM would be foolish to do anything but call ARod’s bluff. Why would ARod opt out in search for greater dollars? There’s just no way he gets more than he’s making now so if he voids the deal, he better be prepared to lose about 50%-60% of his annual salary and he (or Boras) aren’t that stupid. In short, I don’t think anyone has to worry about that $5M escalator or his opting out. Plus, do you really think ARod wants to hear about how he’s all about the money all over again? You think he wants to have people make a federal case about him being disloyal over a $5M raise on an already record-setting contract?

    3. christopher
      October 19th, 2006 | 12:47 pm

      ARod isn’t getting $32M. He’s a $15-17M player int today’s market. He’d be foolish to pull the trigger on that clause.

      Some of these trade ideas are a little silly, no? Love him or hate him, Arod does have trade value. Cashman has to get back more than a #4 starter, an injured 3B, and/or a B/C prospect. Any trade idea that doesn’t include a proven #1/#2 starter AND an all-star caliber hitter or A level prospects isn’t worthy of discussion.

    4. rmd0311
      October 19th, 2006 | 12:54 pm

      “Some of these trade ideas are a little silly, no? Love him or hate him, Arod does have trade value. Cashman has to get back more than a #4 starter, an injured 3B, and/or a B/C prospect. Any trade idea that doesn’t include a proven #1/#2 starter AND an all-star caliber hitter or A level prospects isn’t worthy of discussion.”

      I was going to say something, but that says it all. I get a feeling that you (Steve) are dimishing AROD’s trade worth. He is still a perennial All-Star and a HUGE asset to any organization, including the Yankees. But this is coming from a very strong AROD supporter so what do I know….

    5. RICH
      October 19th, 2006 | 1:06 pm

      I don’t believe Reinsdorf allows Boras clients on his team anymore.

    6. Joel
      October 19th, 2006 | 1:26 pm

      Forget it, A-Rod is going nowhere. We are just going to have to live with a 3B who averages 40 HR, 120 RBI, and a .400 OBP for the next five years. I truly hope this team can work around a problem like this and still figure out a way to win a championship.

      BTW, how is the Mets Golden Boy 3B hitting in the biggest series of his life?

    7. October 19th, 2006 | 1:45 pm

      While Crede’s defense will exceed A-Rod’s, I highly doubt that his power numbers will even come close. Alex is the better player, and trading him for such a mediocre player, would be silly.

      Plus, if we’re just gonna trade Crede and McArthy for starting pitching- why don’t we just trade A-Rod away for starting pitching?

    8. Don
      October 19th, 2006 | 1:50 pm

      I dont understand the David Wright comparison. Maybe if he was the ‘best’ player in the game, the highest paid, a weird personality, all rolled up in-one, he’d be getting criticism. Otherwise it is silly, at best.

    9. Joel
      October 19th, 2006 | 1:59 pm

      Don, David Wright (who is now making a fortune) could go 4 for 100 in the post-season and the fans and media wouldn’t get on him like they do with A-Rod. And any Met fan will readily tell you that Wright is one of the best players in the game.

    10. baileywalk
      October 19th, 2006 | 2:00 pm

      I was going to say something, but that says it all. I get a feeling that you (Steve) are dimishing AROD’s trade worth. He is still a perennial All-Star and a HUGE asset to any organization, including the Yankees. But this is coming from a very strong AROD supporter so what do I know….
      ————–

      To be fair to Steve, the trade rumor mentioned in this post has been talked about in the Chicago newspapers and elsewhere, too.

      Newspapers don’t play GM well; they usually just have teams swap position players (like A-Rod for Crede) even when it doesn’t make much sense.

    11. rbj
      October 19th, 2006 | 2:01 pm

      A-Rod’s deal was not just based upon his ball playing ability. Tom Hicks wanted him to be the face of the Rangers and increase the value of his tv contract and the Rangers in general. Plus, there were some other contracts out there that no one would get these days, Jeter’s $189 mil, Giambi’s $120 mil, Kevin Brown’s $100 mil. I doubt even Johann Santana would get that type of money (especially if he keeps playing for Carl Pohlad).

    12. WebmistressEMC
      October 19th, 2006 | 2:24 pm

      Don’t forget, as far as ARod’s relative trade value is concerned:

      ARod came to the Yankees for only one player in exchange. And instead of cash being sent to the Rangers to sweeten the deal, cash was sent FROM the Rangers to get the Yankees to take ARod off their hands.

      If Cashman can inflate ARod’s age 30+ future worth in a less demanding market to more than a productive #2-3 pitcher OR a Aramis Ramirez level 3B, more power to him. ARod’s stats indicate Cashman can do it, but this trade talk isn’t based on ARod’s stats. It’s based on all those intangibles that endear guys like Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams to all Yankee fans.

    13. Don
      October 19th, 2006 | 2:32 pm

      Oh yeah, the Mets fans would kill Wright in a few more bad post seasons, don’t worry about that.

      His ‘fortune’ kicks in next year and is way under Alex’s contract, no comparison there.

      Sorry, but the David Wright comp is banal.

    14. Joel
      October 19th, 2006 | 2:51 pm

      David Wright is never going to produce the numbers that A-Rod has already produced and he is going to own this town. He will own this town the way Ripken owned Baltimore even though Eddie Murray was a better player. My point is that for a variety of reasons some guys are just liked and can do no wrong and some guys are not liked even if they are first ballot Hall of Famers.

    15. Raf
      October 19th, 2006 | 3:10 pm

      My point is that for a variety of reasons some guys are just liked and can do no wrong and some guys are not liked even if they are first ballot Hall of Famers.
      =================
      Yah. For instance, this morning I heard a guy say that Paul LoDuca was the greatest Mets catcher ever.

      Found the statement odd, considering that both Mike Piazza and Gary Carter have caught for the Mets…

    16. Exit9
      October 19th, 2006 | 3:21 pm

      I thought he was owed $64 million over four years, your number is 80 million. Either way, I wouldn’t expect Cash to dump him without getting some serious pitching in return. I’d trade him straight up for Zambrano, and call it a day, but despite rumors, the Cubs can’t afford to trade CZ. Plus, CZ has only one year on his contract, I think. Everyone says the Angels are the best bet, but for who? Ervin Santana and Chone Figgins? Not worth it. Maybe a 3-way that sends A-Rod to LAAofA, Santana and prospects to Cubs and Zambrano to NY would work. The Giants could deal Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain, and it might start to get tempting. Imagine Barry and A-Rod in the same clubhouse? Although I’d love to get an ace for A-Rod, it’s fair to expect a ton of rumor, a lot of posturing, a few offers, and at least an even chance he’ll land squarely back in the Bronx.

    17. Joel
      October 19th, 2006 | 3:23 pm

      Raf, And this is after a season where the NY tabloids repeatedly ripped Lo Duca for his extramarital affairs. No matter, they love the guy.

      A-Rod could be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and you would fans and media saying that he’s overrated as a peacemaker.

    18. baileywalk
      October 19th, 2006 | 3:35 pm

      This town loves David Wright because he’s homegrown, girls think he’s cute, he’s good with the media, articulate (enough), came up with a bang (he was great in his first half year), and has had some pretty big hits in his short career. There’s no comparing him to A-Rod. Wright is like Jeter 2.0. He’s not as a good, and he still has a lot to prove, but the formula is there: good-looking + homegrown + good to the media + big hits = beloved player.

      As for Zambrano for A-Rod straight-up…

      I wrote this elsewhere, too. I cannot understand this obsession with Zambrano. He’s not that good. He’s hard to hit (his hits-to-innings-pitched numbers look like a typo), but he erases that by walking the ballpark. Plus, for a guy in the NL who throws so hard, his strikeout numbers are just okay. Plus he’ll be moving into a tougher league, which means his numbers will diminish. It looks like if Zambrano came to the AL East, he’d be a 200-inning, 4-ERA guy with 180/190-ish strikeouts.

      Give up A-Rod for THAT? AND have to give him a huge contract soon? No thanks…

    19. christopher
      October 19th, 2006 | 3:57 pm

      Couldn’t agree more about Zambrano. Would anyone be shocked if he put up a 4.50 era in the AL? He’s another Beckett/Clement.

    20. October 19th, 2006 | 5:06 pm

      From 2004-2006, Zambrano had 97 RSAA.

      Beckett’s best 3 year total was 32.

      Clement, did 30 in his best 3-year run.

      Zambrano is much, much, better than Beckett and Clement.

    21. October 19th, 2006 | 5:08 pm

      ~~~Plus, for a guy in the NL who throws so hard, his strikeout numbers are just okay.~~~

      210 Ks in 214 IP is just OK?

    22. christopher
      October 19th, 2006 | 7:30 pm

      His RSAA is what it is. Can’t argue with that, but Zambrano walks 100 guys a year. He’s made a living of pitching around the heart of the order and attacking the bottom of it. That’s fine in the NL Central when you can breeze through the 6-9 hitters on every team, but that’s not gonna get it done in the AL. I just think he would be a disaster.

    23. baileywalk
      October 19th, 2006 | 7:58 pm

      ~~~Plus, for a guy in the NL who throws so hard, his strikeout numbers are just okay.~~~

      210 Ks in 214 IP is just OK?

      ————-

      Yep, that’s what I said. And it’s true. His strikeout numbers are just okay (for a guy who throws that hard and can strike out the pitcher two times a game). Strikeout numbers are a different animal in the NL. That’s why there are so many more 10-strikeout games in the NL than AL. An 8-strikeout game in the AL is a 10-strikeout game in the NL because the pitcher is always good for two whiffs.

      Zambrano’s strikeout totals have been going up, but they still don’t blow me away.

      2003: 214 IP/168 SO.
      2004: 209 IP/188 SO.
      2005: 223 IP/202 SO.
      2006: 214 IP/210 SO.

      But compare him to some other hard throwers in the NL over the last few years.

      Randy Johnson, basically the same guy we saw in ’05, threw 245 innings and struck out 290 in ’04. In ’05, now in the AL, Johnson only managed 211 strikeouts. 290 to 211.

      A healthy Ben Sheets struck out 264 batters in 237 innings in ’04.

      Peavy managed to strike out more than a batter an innings for two straight years.

      A healthy Prior struck out 245 in 211 innings and 188 in 166 innings.

      A healthy Kerry Wood struck out 266 in 211 innings.

      Those, in my opinion, are good strikeout totals for NL pitchers. You have to knock that numbers back quite a bit when envisioning them in the AL.

      But worse than the strikeouts, Zambrano walks way too many. If he could learn how to control his stuff, he’d probably be awesome (he doesn’t give up many hits). But one thing we’ve learned over the years is that a guy who walks too many is the most dangerous pitcher of all.

    24. Yu Hsing Chen
      October 20th, 2006 | 1:51 am

      Zambrano is better than Beckett, just consider that Beckett pitched half his games in the friendliest pitchers park while Zambrano pitch in a home park that favors hitters more.

      however that isn’t to say they arne’t similar in some sense … like their general insanity.. their often wild ways…

      still though, to trade for Zambrano.. a guy that Yankees can land in the FA like.. next year… is not exactly the greatest idea ever.

      one have to remember A-rod still has 4 years under his contract, if i’m going to trade for him why would i want to trade for a guy (or guys) that’s going to hit the FA market a lot sooner? and that’s just about every proven guy out there.

      which means that if the Yankees are even going to bother trading A-rod, they better be getting a few guys that’s still pre-arbitration.

      talking to Dodger fans, they for some reason don’t like Brad Penny (mostly because he’s again, crazy. and he sucked down the stretch.) while the idea of getting another 03 Marlins pitchers is scary. he still makes it interesting if the Marlins are going to give him away along with other people…

      say… A-rod strait up for.

      Penny/ Kuo / Broxton (though that might hurt too much for them.. might end up with a lesser bullpen arm like getting Brazoban back again) / Laroche.

      that would give us 2 SP with serious hard stuff. both are in their primes, Kuo is still years away from FA. a young bullpen arm and a potential future 3b that’s almost ready.

    25. zgveritas
      October 20th, 2006 | 10:47 pm

      I think it has already been demonstrated to baseball GMs that to waste so much $$$ on a single player will harm the rest of your team. So the Yanks are stuck with A-Rod unless they get rid of him for in a poor deal for the team.

      Torre will say he can deal with A-Rod for one last year. Then the new manager will try to see if he can make it work for a year. Then we’ll revisit this in late 2008.

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