• The Ticking A-Rod Bomb

    Posted by on August 17th, 2011 · Comments (6)

    Great stuff from Harvey Araton -

    There is no more doubting that [Alex] Rodriguez’s days as the prototypical five-tool player and even the most feared bat in the Yankees’ lineup — not with Robinson Cano around — are over. Age and mileage and possibly the chemical spikes he admittedly added to his spinach have taken their toll.

    Assuming his knee is fixed and he is able to drive the ball, Rodriguez can still do damage. He is only one season removed from 125 runs batted in. October is coming, and with the likes of Texas, Detroit and Boston in mind, the Yankees will be a more dangerous team with Rodriguez for the next two months.

    Increasingly and alarmingly, the larger question looming is: How will they manage to coexist for the next six years?

    If you think Yankee Nation has been in deep distress and debate lately over the investment return from pitcher A. J. Burnett, imagine what awaits Rodriguez all the way through 2017 if his physical decline continues at the rate it has been going.

    There was hip surgery in 2009, a visit to the disabled list last season for a calf injury and this year’s breakdown to go along with eye-opening drop-offs in power numbers. Is it a stretch to imagine a day when Rodriguez’s 10-year deal, which could earn him more than $300 million — including bonus money for breaking the career home run record — will be considered the most ill-advised player contract in the history of the game?

    Come to think of it, that very characterization might be the most fitting punctuation to an era bloated by illusion and greed.

    Because of the headlines Rodriguez has generated, with more possibly to come, he will ultimately bear the brunt of the contract abuse. He, of course, didn’t give it to himself, no more than he made the former owner in Texas, Tom Hicks, hand him a $252 million deal a full decade ago.

    Remember how Rodriguez opted out of that contract in 2007 and the Goldman Sachs people acted as intermediaries between player and team after negotiations collapsed and both sides announced they were moving on?

    With the heavy hitters reaching out in his behalf, establishing another proud Wall Street legacy, Rodriguez called Hank Steinbrenner and had him at hello.

    “Trust me, he would have gotten probably more,” Steinbrenner said in 2007, referring to a market that did not exist. “He is making a sacrifice to be a Yankee.”

    Next year will be interesting for A-Rod. He has to be available for more than 120 games in a season. Anything less than that is a joke. But, he sure is trending that way…

    Comments on The Ticking A-Rod Bomb

    1. BOHAN
      August 17th, 2011 | 10:58 pm

      just out of curiousity…. who gets sent down when Alex comes back?? I’m guessing Noesi?? has anyone heard anything at all???

    2. Evan3457
      August 17th, 2011 | 11:51 pm

      There was no dropoff in A-Rod’s numbers before the knee injury.

      Up to that point in time, A-Rod was on pace for 32 HR, 105 RBI, .289/.372/.506, and was at that moment, in the middle of a hot streak, in which he was hitting .323/.429/.606 over his last 17 games with 16 runs, 4 HR and 16 RBI. Even after the injury, he hit .333 over the next 17 games with 11 RBI. He just couldn’t drive the ball on one knee.

      Older players get hurt. Too bad for the Yankees, who signed that contract. You signed the 10 year deal, and you got the title in 2009. Now, live with it.

    3. Garcia
      August 17th, 2011 | 11:54 pm

      Agreed. I don’t think it’s a good idea to expect more than 120 games from A-Rod, he’s going to become a 2/3 – 3/4 player.

      I’m not even mad at A-Rod over that contract, the Yanks were given a chance and Hank just couldn’t help himself. A-Rod was the beneficiary of Hank’s extreme stupidity. Thank you, Hank, you POS!

    4. Raf
      August 18th, 2011 | 6:57 am

      Garcia wrote:

      I’m not even mad at A-Rod over that contract, the Yanks were given a chance and Hank just couldn’t help himself. A-Rod was the beneficiary of Hank’s extreme stupidity. Thank you, Hank, you POS!

      And even with that said, I have a hard time believing that the Yanks will be hindered by the contract.

    5. Scout
      August 18th, 2011 | 8:46 am

      Raf wrote:

      And even with that said, I have a hard time believing that the Yanks will be hindered by the contract

      In financial terms, probably not, unless ownership goes through one of its periodic belt-tightening episodes or baseball raises the luxury tax.

      On the field, though, it may be a different matter. Lets look ahead to the last three years of the deal and assume for the moment that A-Rod has detriorated to the level Posada is now and trending downward. Obviously, he won’t have a position on the field and he’ll be a detriment at DH. So he is reduced to a part-time pinch hitter. Effectively you play with a 24-man roster, which is a hindrance. And that says nothing about what he might be like in the club house, where he was never too popular.

    6. Raf
      August 18th, 2011 | 5:29 pm

      Scout wrote:

      On the field, though, it may be a different matter.

      It may not be. Posada was benched, Jeter was “encouraged” to hit the DL. Soriano’s pitching the 7th inning. I’m fairly confident that if Rodriguez declines to the point where he’s not particularly useful, the Yankees will minimize his role.

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