Now I know what you’re all thinking. No, I’m not writing this to say “we need to get rid of Alex Rodriguez because he’s terrible.” I’m also not on the bandwagon that agrees necessarily that Rodriguez’s absence would clear our muddy waters. The real reason why I’m writing this is because perhaps it’s time that New York Yankees and Rodriguez get these monkeys off their backs. The fact that A-Rod was benched numerous times in the postseason shows that the confidence that the Yanks once had in him is wavering. However, other teams don’t see that. What they see is perhaps a player who can no longer perform under the public media circus but still has value left in him. The Miami Marlins have had their name tied to these rumors and it’s not something that should be dispelled overnight.
If we head into 2013 with this dilemma of “will A-Rod play or will he be benched”, we’ve already defeated ourselves. A-Rod costs way too much money to simply bench and if the Yankees don’t have much confidence left in him, then perhaps a change of scenery is needed for both parties.
The Marlins’ supposed interest in Rodriguez intrigues me. This is a ball club in Miami that just overspent on a new, ridiculous looking stadium, players, uniforms, you name it and they bought it. Owner Jeffery Loria has been regarded as a George Steinbrenner, just minus the success. The acquisitions of not only Jose Reyes and Heath Bell added to that, but the fact that they traded away Hanley Ramirez, one of their star players for so long, shows us that they’re willing to make some big moves. So, why is it completely out of the question to consider trading for A-Rod?
Brian Cashman has noted several times that these rumors are nothing but false, though something tells me there has to be more to the story. Whatever discussion is going on behind closed doors may not be brought to the light immediately, but the fact is the majority of Yankee fans are tired of A-Rod and his contract and the Marlins know they need a third baseman.
What also doesn’t sit well with Yankee fans is A-Rod’s lack of focus in Game One of the ALCS where he was signing autographs and flirting with two Australian models. The Yankees, like any other team in baseball, are a business, and when you go against company policy or do something to hurt the reputation of said company, things do not bode well. A-Rod was already in hot water for being in the enormous slump that he never got out of, but the real problem is, people couldn’t see beyond that. There were a lot of people in this line-up struggling, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and others. So yes, while I will defend A-Rod there, the fact that his head wasn’t obviously in the first game of the ALCS bothers me.
That said, I don’t believe it warrants him being benched. In 2012, Rodriguez earned $30,000,000. Just in this past week, we saw that $30,000,000 sitting on the bench. Is this something the Yankees really want to continue to do for the next five years? A-Rod is by no means a spring chicken as he just turned 37 back in July and his decline is fairly obvious. Perhaps he’s not best suited for the AL anymore and maybe finding a new home will be of some good. I’m not saying it will happen, but it may be best for both parties involved. The Yankees would finally be able to clear out some money owed to Rodriguez and the Marlins would acquire a new third baseman. Everybody wins, right?
Is this a trade that would even happen? I doubt it, and for a couple reasons. First off, Rodriguez has a no-trade clause that he said himself he will not waive. Second off, do the Marlins just think printing out money is going to help? There’s a thing called the luxury tax that the Yankees got slammed with and I highly doubt Miami will want the same fate, especially knowing they still haven’t rebounded into a solid team. Third, well, I just don’t know if Miami is even the team. I’m sure there are some teams that may be interested in the caliber of player that A-Rod is, but there’s always the money issue. Nobody would be willing to pay that type of money for an aging third baseman whose numbers were far from what they used to be. However, if the opportunity ever knocks for the Yanks to part ways with A-Rod in a trade (with a good offer mind you), I don’t think we’ll be seeing Cashman hesitating on that.