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Monday, October 22, 2012

ALEX RODRIGUEZ & THE GREAT TRADE DEBATE

Prepare for an off season full of ARod gossip. It’s only been a couple of days and he is already making headlines, but this is just a glimpse of what is to come for the next few months. The Yankees made a big investment with Alex Rodriguez, and with big commitments come big expectations. It’s no secret that he fell short this year, so will he and the Yankees part ways? Let the “will they or won’t they?” trade debates begin….

We all know how expensive the Alex Rodriguez contract is… but let me start off by saying this, in baseball anything is possible. We are used to winning, and we expect our players to produce. When players fall short of our expectations, we voice our frustrations freely. Is the postseason crash solely his fault? No, but after he stopped producing, and was benched some fans believe that to change the makeup of this team requires getting rid of him.


Interestingly enough, today on ESPN, Brian Cashman made it clear, sort of, that Alex Rodriguez us a Yankees...but, he's listening to offers.  Read HERE, and here's a quote from Cash on that:

 "It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything..."

Again though, Cashman stated that it's pretty "unrealistic.

It is interesting though.  If the Yankees trade him, it goes without saying that they will be expected to pay a large portion of the money that is still owed to him. As scary as that sounds, it is possible. In the last two years of his contract he is owed $20million each year, which isn’t too much for the Yankees to swallow. So, if that isn’t an issue….is there a team out there that would want him? 

There are teams out there that would be a fit for him, interestingly enough…the teams that are tied to him are all in the National League. The Dodgers were rumored to be interested until they were rumored to NOT be (HERE). The Arizona Diamondbacks are also said to be interested. They are in need of a third basemen, and given the previous work relationship that Kevin Towers and Brian Cashman have, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were chatting it up. 

Perhaps the most intriguing connection was the now bogus rumor that the Miami Marlins had interest in Alex. First off there was never proof, but sure, on the surface, it made sense...a team in a new ballpark looking to make a splash with a big name to sell some tickets.  Alex, a Florida guy anyway, could have jumped at that. But in the end, it appeared to be fabricated.  Besides, Heath Bell, one of the names attached to that "Alex to Miami" rumor ended up being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, read HEATH BELL IS NOT GOING TO THE YANKEES.

Turn the page? Perhaps, unless there are more teams out there that I don't know about.  Bottom line, I didn’t see how Heath Bell would have fit in on our team anyway because it is already structured. Even if Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract, what role would have Bell filled? Another option could be Jose Reyes, but considering the Yankees have Derek Jeter, Reyes wouldn’t have a defined role on the team anyway, see what I mean?

This may sound hopeful to some fans who want Alex off of the team, but money isn’t the only factor. Alex controls his own destiny thanks to his no-trade clause. He can veto a trade to any team according to the terms of his 10-year contract he signed with the Yankees. He worked very hard to get to New York and to retain so much control of his contract so I don’t see him agreeing to be traded so easily. 


He wants to be on a contending team, and he’s earned one ring here and like the rest of our Yankees, he wants more. It is rumored that he will consider being traded to another big market team, but given his recent statements about his future I am not so sure that is a possibility.  

“I’ve never thought about going to another team,” Rodriguez said. “My focus is to stay here. Let’s make that very, very clear. Number two, I don’t expect to be mediocre. I expect to do what I’ve done for a long time,” you can read the rest HERE.  Clearly, Alex is pretty determined to stick around and redeem himself for years to come.  

Do I think Alex will still be in pinstripes once 2013 comes around? I do. He has taken a lot of abuse the past few years and you can argue that it is or is not justified, but he does at least take accountability for his performance and that is very admirable. I just don’t see Alex as the type of player to run away after a disappointing season. He has a lot to prove, and I don’t think he wants to deal with the aftermath if he accepts a trade somewhere else. He wants to prove to everyone that he is not the old, declining player that can’t produce anymore. He is motivated to prove everyone wrong, some people may call that prideful. Not only that, if we did trade him, we still have to pay a new player to fill his shoes. If the Yankees want to get below the luxury tax threshold they may not be interested in paying for a new player while still paying for Alex. 

It is clear that the Yankees have lost some faith in Alex considering his reduced role during the postseason. However, unless there is a team that he is willing to play for that wants to take on a big chunk of salary for a veteran player I expect to see Alex in a Yankee uniform again come April 1, 2013. The Yankees made a long term deal with no loophole, so whether fans like it or not, Alex may play out the rest of his contract in the Bronx.



--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ



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