• Wild Thought: Eating A-Rod

    Posted by on July 23rd, 2010 · Comments (20)

    Dave Cameron, over at FanGraphs, feels that the Yankees would have to “eat” at least $100 million (of Alex Rodriguez remaining contract) if New York attempted to trade A-Rod after this season.

    And, that leads to today’s wild thought.  Say the Yankees had another option at third base – I dunno, like, say, move Jeter there and bring up Eduardo Nunez, or, something else – should they consider moving Rodriguez, even if it means eating over a hundred million? Or, is it better to just give A-Rod the money and watch his skills decline as he ties up a spot in the Yankees roster and line-up?

    Comments on Wild Thought: Eating A-Rod

    1. Corey Italiano
      July 23rd, 2010 | 9:12 am

      A-Rod is still better than Nunez and Jeter.

    2. Garcia
      July 23rd, 2010 | 9:20 am

      So the reason for eating A-Rod’s contract is because of his declining value, but wouldn’t the other team he’s being traded to already know that? I don’t think the value of the contract is as crippling as the length of the contract.

      I really don’t see this happening, I think A-Rod will be a Yankee for the entire time – declining or not, he’s ours, might as well start to get used to it.

      BTW, A-Rod’s last hit last night was a thing of beauty, I love balls hit in the gaps more than homeruns. I know homeruns are worth a run (or more), but something about a ball being tattooed to the gaps that just looks so sweet.

    3. July 23rd, 2010 | 9:56 am

      Remember Branch Rickey’s motto: “It’s better to trade a player a year early instead of a year late.”

    4. Corey Italiano
      July 23rd, 2010 | 10:02 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      So then why re-sign Jeter?

    5. July 23rd, 2010 | 10:13 am

      @ Corey Italiano: Because his name isn’t “Simon Bosco”? 🙂

    6. MJ Recanati
      July 23rd, 2010 | 10:17 am

      You’re assuming A-Rod’s declining because 2010 hasn’t been a good year for him but you’d have to see 2011 before knowing that 2010 was a decline. And if teams are willing to take A-Rod after this year with the Yanks eating $100M, then they’d be willing to take A-Rod after next year, with the Yanks eating $80M.

      So why rush to dump A-Rod this year and eat $100M when a team will take him next year at the same discount rate?

      Steve, you just can’t wait to get rid of him. The transparency is hilarious.

      Where are the articles about walking away from Jeter because he’s in decline?

    7. Corey Italiano
      July 23rd, 2010 | 10:23 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Where are the articles about walking away from Jeter because he’s in decline?

      Yup, that was my point.

    8. July 23rd, 2010 | 10:24 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Where are the articles about walking away from Jeter because he’s in decline?


    9. Corey Italiano
      July 23rd, 2010 | 10:26 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Yes but in the context of this article, you have the Yanks re-signing Jeter and manning A-Rod’s position.

    10. July 23rd, 2010 | 11:16 am

      @ Corey Italiano: Just an example, not saying I would do it or they should do it.

    11. throwstrikes
      July 23rd, 2010 | 2:02 pm

      “Just an example, not saying I would do it or they should do it.”

      Then what’s your point?

    12. July 23rd, 2010 | 2:22 pm

      @ throwstrikes: That maybe there’s some other, TBD, option to cover third and SS in the Yankees infield that doesn’t require A-Rod.

    13. MJ Recanati
      July 23rd, 2010 | 2:37 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      That maybe there’s some other, TBD, option to cover third and SS in the Yankees infield that doesn’t require A-Rod.

      There may be but it shouldn’t include moving Jeter to 3B. His defensive shortcomings are accepted because of the elite bat he provided at the position but I don’t see how the Yanks could eat $100M and then move a 36 year old with a .727 OPS to third base while also having a light hitting SS take over for Jeter.

    14. throwstrikes
      July 23rd, 2010 | 2:54 pm

      You are a funny dude. Singularly obsessed but funny.

    15. July 23rd, 2010 | 4:13 pm

      Hey, that sounds like a great idea! Get less production, and spend $100 million for A-Rod to hit elsewhere! Sweet!

    16. July 23rd, 2010 | 4:23 pm

      Ever hear that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

      Sure, maybe you take a hit, esp in 2011 and/or 2012. But, that’s better than being stuck in 2013 thru the end of his deal, and not having anyone willing to take him, or give you something in return, unless you pay ALL of his contract.

    17. MJ Recanati
      July 23rd, 2010 | 4:28 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      As I said above, if someone is willing to take him today with the Yanks eating $100M, someone will be willing to take him tomorrow with the Yanks paying at the same rate. As long as the Yanks are willing to pay, someone will take A-Rod.

      So, as Lisa says, why eat $100M today and get less production when it’s an absolute no-brainer that as long as the Yanks are willing to pay, they’ll have trade partners for A-Rod, at any age.

    18. July 23rd, 2010 | 5:37 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi: “Ever hear that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”

      And sure, it has NOTHING to do with your personal distaste for the guy, right?

      @ MJ Recanati: Right. And I really find it the whole suggestion nauseating. A-Rod gave up being a shortstop to somebody who is less gifted at the position. Now, when that person has lost a step, some think A-Rod needs to be traded, with the Yankees eating a hundred flipping million dollars, just so that person (who’s not even under contract next year) can save face by moving over to third. If Jeter would ever agree to such a thing (and there’s no saying he would, but just suppose), who is being the real diva here?

    19. July 23rd, 2010 | 5:45 pm

      Besides, A-Rod has a full no-trade clause. Do you think he’s going to waive that for a one-way ticket to Palookaville? So that Jeter can take his spot at third base? No freaking way will that EVER happen.

      The whole “wild thought” is silly. Cameron’s point was that A-Rod is pretty much untradeable. Somehow, that’s been rejiggered to mean that the Yankees should trade him to have Eduardo Nunez at short, Jeter at third, and the Yankees – who still won’t eat Kei Igawa’s contract – eat 100 MILLION DOLLARS! The Yankees wouldn’t eat Pavano’s contract, wouldn’t eat Kevin Brown’s contract, but they’ll pay 100 million so that A-Rod can put fannies in the seats elsewhere? Please.

    20. Evan3457
      July 24th, 2010 | 1:01 am

      Steve, I gotta go with the consensus here for a number of reasons.

      1) Let’s assume BOTH A-Rod and Jeter are in decline. A-Rod’s decline starts from a higher point, in terms of overall offensive ability. Therefore, Jeter, unless he has an unusual aging pattern (and he might) will sink below average level AND below replacement level before A-Rod will. A-Rod may become a drag at some point in the next 3-5 years, but he isn’t one now, whereas Jeter is barely keeping his head above water so far this season.

      2) What’s to say Jeter will play a better third base than A-Rod will? In his prime, A-Rod was the better defensive shortstop. Maybe Jeter won’t adapt to 3rd even as well as A-Rod did.

      3) Will Jeter even be willing to move off 3rd?

      4) If Jeter does move off 3rd, and he doesn’t do well, will his pride force him to retire, a la DiMaggio, leaving the Yanks without BOTH A-Rod AND Jeter?

      5) A-Rod may already be in decline. So is his base salary, starting next year. 2011: $31 million; 2012: $29 million; 2013: $28 million; 2014: $25 million, 2015: $21 million, and 2016 and 2017: $20 million each. Inflation will rise, making those salaries even less expensive, in relative terms.

      6) A-Rod is 34 going on 35; Jeter is 36. Why will A-Rod decline before Jeter?

      7) A-Rod may not be belting 45-55 HR a year as he used to, but he’s become a much better team hitter, in that he doesn’t try to hit the ball 8 miles in every clutch situation, and because of that, has become much better in those spots in the last year and a half. (.339/.412/.696 in 68 High Leverage PA this season. Yeah, yeah, small sample, I know.)

      A-Rod and Jeter are having off years; A-Rod’s year (with the bat) is STILL far better than Jeter’s. I don’t see the logic in trading him, especially if you have to throw in $100 million to do it.

      Unless you’re trading him for Evan Longoria, or something.

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