Imagining an A-Rod Trade

Some are certain Alex Rodriguez has played his last game as a Yankee. You’ll find no such certainty here. There’s all that money left on his contract, and though it’s a sunk cost, the 37-year-old can still provide non-zero value in the Bronx over the next five years. In other words, there’s no way it makes sense for the Yankees to swallow the entire remaining $119 million on his contract for him to play somewhere else.

But would it make sense for the team to eat some of the contract? It would, but only if the front office believes they can get Rodriguez-like production for less than they would save by jettisoning him. Then the non-on-the-field value of trading him away —- call it chemistry concerns, if you have to —- can tip the balance.

To do this, we’ll have to do a quick-and-dirty projection of Rodriguez for next year. MARCEL may only be a monkey, but he hangs with most projection systems well enough by using a 5/4/3 weighting of the past three years. Let’s use A-Rod’s last three years of wins above replacement totals. Though that only provides us a rough, top-down view of his value, using those numbers will help us wrap his defensive and playing time issues into one number. A quick MARCEL-like projection using those numbers produces about a 3.3 WAR value for next season. MARCEL projected Rodriguez for a .348 wOBA this year, and he managed a .342 — so the monkey has thrown this particular dart pretty well, recently. We have to age that number, though, so let’s call him a three-win third baseman in 2013.

Some might scoff at the number. Rodriguez only barely put up more than two wins in 2012, and he was 37 years old. When he was 36, though, he managed a good defensive year and offense that was 25% better than the league and was worth twice as much as he was worth at 37. The year before that he was worse. Aging isn’t a linear process even if we project it as such. A healthier year could easily produce better numbers. A year facing lesser pitchers or in an easier division could produce better numbers. A year with better luck with the glove would produce better numbers. A change of scenery could help — we all like going to work with people who respect us and think we are useful members of the workplace.

And as bad as Rodriguez has looked in the playoffs, there are reasons to think this particular nadir is temporary. For one, Rodriguez hit the ball harder in 2012 than he did in 2011 — his batted ball distance on homers and flies jumped from 275 to 299 feet. And despite another injury, he put in 100+ more plate appearances in 2012 than in 2011. He also stole a few more bags in 2012. His overall offense was still 14% better than league average. It wasn’t all bad.

But his platoon splits. Yes, Rodriguez has looked bad against righties late this season —- and really not up to his lofty standards all season. He was below-average against righties for the first time in his career in 2012. Zoom out and look at his platoon splits since he joined the Yankees, though, and it’s not so clear that he’s already strictly a platoon player:

For a while there, he was better against righties than lefties. He has a career reverse platoon split (140 wRC+ v LHP, 148 v RHP). Though that’s not really enough reason to say he actually has a true-talent reverse platoon split — the sample for that has to be huge — it might be enough to say he hasn’t shown a bad traditional platoon split during his career, and this current traditional platoon split might be a one-year blip. In his first year with the Yankees, Rodriguez was only 18% better than the league against righties, but he managed to right the ship for some stellar years, and a muted version of that process could happen again. And are we really torn up about offense that was 5% worse than league average against righties if he’s going to be a decent third baseman who can still tear up lefties?

If you’re still not convinced he’s a true-talent three-win guy, let’s try this from with a more pessimistic projection. Dan Szymborski, the father of ZiPs, produced this slash line as a first go at a 2013 projection for Rodriguez: .256/.339/.425. Approximate a wOBA from that slash line, and you get a .334 wOBA. That’s a healthy decline from this season’s .342, but it would still have been above average this year (.315 wOBA). The joy of having a wOBA now is that we can produce a few rough projections based on different playing time:

PA Batting Fielding Replacement Positional WAR
550 9.09 18.3 2 2.9
500 8.26 16.7 1.8 2.7
450 7.43 15 1.6 2.4
400 6.61 13 1.4 2.1

What’s nice about breaking it up this way is that you can see how each assertion affects the final result. He could be anywhere from a two-to-three win player depending on mostly his playing time and defense — more than his bat. There are teams out there that might salivate over an average bat that could play average defense at third base for an average amount of PAs — Philadelphia, Florida and Anaheim have been in the discussion so far. Though the most delicious rumor is Vernon Wells for Alex Rodriguez, Philadelphia and Florida are extra-motivated by the fact that neither of them had a third baseman that managed to accrue two wins last season. (Alberto Callaspo had 2.7 of them for the Angels.)

Let’s start at three wins, since it’s in the range of our more optimistic and pessimistic projections. A generic free-agent third baseman who can put up three wins might expect about $40 million for five years on the open market — you typically want to age that late-30s position player about .7 wins per year and that means you’d pay for eight wins (at five million per) during those five years. Rodriguez is due $119 million in the next five years, so could the Yankees give $80 million to a team willing to take the third baseman? The other team would want a discount, most likely. What if the Yankees throw in $85 million? $90 million? (They’re willing to talk, maybe.)

Even that last number would give them $30 million of savings in the next five years, as well as a three-win hole at third right now. Their trading partner would get a three-win third baseman for five years at less than market price.

If Alex Rodriguez is only worth two wins next season, it gets more complicated. Then a five-year deal with .7 aging would expect to pay for about four wins, and he’d be worse than replacement after the third year. Then other teams might only see about $20 million of value in Alex Rodriguez, and after a discount, the Yankees would have to pay over $100 million to save ten million or so. That doesn’t seem like a good deal for either side.

There are ways for the Yankees to cobble together two-to-three wins for less than six million dollars next year, but none of them are guarantees and it’s not easy. The best in-house option is probably former second baseman David Adams. According to Brian Cartwright’s OLIVER, the twenty-five year old’s work last year in his second attempt Double-A — .306/.385/.450 with eight home runs in 383 plate appearances — had a major league equivalency of .278/.343/.415. It’d be folly to project him for that or anything, but if you put the young righty in some sort of a platoon with the 35-year-old lefty Eric Chavez — who cost less than two million dollars last season once the performance bonuses kicked in — you could see how you could get close to three wins. Chavez managed 1.8 wins in 313 PA last season, and with an adequate glove or adequate bat (maybe not even both at the same time) to keep him healthy, they could make it work.

If you squint hard enough, you can see a place where a trade could make sense for the Yankees and their trade partner. There are teams that see Alex Rodriguez as an upgrade over their current situations if the price is right. And if the Yankees think they can save some money and clear up their roster and clubhouse, and want to keep their manager, they might pay another team $80 million (in some combination of cash and/or bad contracts) in order to accomplish those goals.

Maybe this trade will happen — we’ve hopefuly used believable parameters to find situations that work for both sides — but $80-plus million is a lot of money to pay another organization to take an asset off your hands that has non-zero value on the field.




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103 Responses to “Imagining an A-Rod Trade”

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  1. Doug Dirt says:

    Pretty easy. A-Rod has worst trade value of any player in baseball. So a fair swap would be trading him for next worse, Billy Hamilton.

    Win-win for both sides.

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  2. Tyler says:

    One thing that is missing from the Arod trade discussions is the fact that the $114 million owed to Arod is a sunk cost for the Yankess. Before even reading this analysis (which was great) I figured the Yankees would have to chip in at least $80 million of Arod’s contract to the team acquiring him (assuming no bad contracts come back to New York). People will be up in the arms about paying someone that much to play somewhere else, but the money was going to have to be paid anyway, and like you said, the team would save $34 million dollars in this example. Definitely not chump change. That is $5.7 per year the next five years to make up “x” wins the Yankees project he would have given them. Definitely doable.

    I also think dealing Arod greatly enhances the chances Cano is resigned by the team (its about 95% anyway) because in two years they would simply move him over to third, where is presumably diminished range, cannon arm, and power bat, would play well.

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    • Marty says:

      Huh? The first paragraph mentions that his contract is a sunk cost.

      Not to mention that the idea that replacing A-Rod’s production with $5.7m per year is “definitely doable” is actually defintiely a big question mark. Sure, in years 3,4,5, he might be replacement level. But he also could be a 2-3 win player the next few seasons. Or maybe he just gets to the point where he retires after a few seasons because he is already very, very, very rich.

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      • Tyler says:

        Yes…..it is money the Yankees cannot get back at this moment, they are obligated to pay it. Contracts do not fit in perfectly with the definition of “sunk costs” I suppose but the point is that the Yankees are on the hook for that money. My point is is that people will harp on the fact that, if the Yanks deal Arod to whoever, the narrative will be “oh my god the Yankees are paying so much money for him to play somewhere else.” If they Yankees made such a deal they obviously thought it was in there best interest, and again, they were going to have to pay it anyway, and would actually save at least some money in any deal.

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      • Yeah says:

        The definition of sunk costs works perfectly fine with contracts. All guaranteed baseball contracts are essentially sunk costs. Sunk costs are simply money that has already been committed to something.
        The Yankees don’t have to preference being perfectly efficient when it comes to reducing costs though, like some teams constrained by their budget. If the Yankees place a higher preference on just winning and are willing to sacrifice some efficiency with regards to matching costs to value then predicting what they’ll do becomes a lot more difficult.

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      • Bigmouth says:

        @Yeah: A sunk cost can’t be recovered. You can trade a player and have his contract assumed by the other team, thereby recovering at least a portion of the money you originally committed.

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      • Yeah says:

        Nope, some of a sunk cost can generally be recovered.
        For example if you buy a factory the price of the factory is a sunk cost, but you can still sell the factory yourself later.
        From wikipedia, “… the sunk cost is not a precise quantity, but an economic term for a sum paid, in the past, which is no longer relevant to decisions about the future…”
        With a trade of A-rod you’re probably not getting much baseball talent back, you’re basically selling his contract.

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      • Bigmouth says:

        @Yeah: From wikipedia:

        “In economics and business decision-making, sunk costs are retrospective (past) costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered.”

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      • yeah says:

        Yes, the COSTS can not be recovered. The costs are only what you have initially paid. If you sell an item you are not recovering the costs you paid for it, that money is already gone. However, you are mitigating the costs somewhat by getting money through a separate transaction.
        Technically, you’re not recovering costs because that has already been paid out, but it is essentially the same thing. So that’s really just semantics.

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  3. yo says:

    How does the luxury tax come in to play? If the Yankees pay part of his salary, does the entire salary still count against the new team’s tax? If so, I can’t see why any high payroll team (e.g., Phils) would take him on. Why would they spend so much of their “cap” on a fading player regardless of whether the actual dollars make sense?

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    • Tyler says:

      (1) The acquiring team would only be responsible for what it is paying for luxury tax purposes, not the entire contract. It would be the same exact scenario more or less with the Yankees-Pirates trade of Burnett.

      (2) Even when considering the fact that the acquiring team would not take on Arod’s entire contract for luxury tax purposes, why wouldn’t a team spend money on a “fading” player (and he has been fading for a couple years now) so long as the team is obtaining surplus value from the deal, like Eno said? Who cares if he is fading?

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    • Mike Green says:

      The salary is apportioned for luxury tax purposes between club dumping part of the salary and the club receiving the dump. The cash considerations in the trade are included in the dumping team’s payroll.

      See Article XXIII (C)(2)(b)(iii) of the CBA which can be viewed as a pdf on the Biz of Baseball website.

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      • Tom says:

        Thanks for the clarification. As a Twins fan, when I first heard about him maybe being traded, I thought about a blockbuster that might work but not if the Yankees still get hit on the luxury tax. Was contemplating a Mauer for A-Rod with the Yankees throwing in 100+. It would get the Yankees good value back while getting MN out from under a contract that is going to make it difficult to rebuild and a player that still has a productive year or two.

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  4. Spike says:

    if the Dodgers need to open an OF spot for Puig, maybe an Ethier swap plus $$$… or Hanley + more $$$…. I frankly don’t see it though.

    ARod for Teixeira… oh wait…

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  5. Monroe says:

    It was inevitable that this contract was going to be a disaster. The Yankees happily agreed to approximately 100 million more than any other team would have considered paying for A-Rod, so it seems only right that they should choke on that portion of the deal.

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    • Tom B says:

      A lot of people felt the same way about Carl Crawford, but Boston was bailed out of that mess.

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      • GMH says:

        Carl Crawford isn’t 37 years old.

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      • Spike says:

        do you think the Dodgers are going to bail out other teams’ problems from now on? either that or you must believe in the ability of lightning to strike the same place twice…

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      • vivalajeter says:

        Spike, it wasn’t isolated to Crawford though. When a team thinks they’re close to contending, sometimes they act foolishly. Who would’ve thought that Vernon Wells’ contract would’ve picked up?

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      • Spike says:

        and that Wells trade got Tony Reagins fired. Face it. There simply aren’t as many idiots running clubs as there used to be. Sure, if the Yankees eat $90M of what’s remaining on the deal they’d be able to move him, but it isn’t as if they have any replacement waiting in the wings anyway…

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      • Tomcat says:

        Nobody thought that was a 100 Million dollar overpay…maybe 35-40 million over 7 years

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  6. A Scientist says:

    Put labels on your plot axes!

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  7. Hurtlockertwo says:

    Maybe ARod would be like Ichiro and suddenly get motivated. I’m sure his pride is hurt over getting benched and he may be out to prove the Yankees wrong.

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  8. Matt P says:

    If that money gets the Yankees under the luxury tax then maybe. Otherwise they’re probably going to be competitive next year. It very well could be the last year that Jeter, Petitte and Rivera play and I’m sure the Yankees want those three guys to go out on a solid note in the playoffs. If A-Rod is a three WAR player then he’ll help them compete and is better then any other cheap option they’ll find.

    If you’re the Yankees, why not simply let him play for that year and then see about trading him and eating 80 million beginning in 2014? Certainly some team would eat the remaining 10 million over four years to see if he has something left.

    With so many old players and so many questions in the near future, it makes sense to try and win now and not worry about later until later.

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  9. Joe says:

    Name a better 3rd base situation for the yankees (who are not cost concious) than a-rod and please don’t say Eric Chavez who has been totally unreliable for the last 7 years. Unless they somehow trade for someone, it will be a-rod at the hot corner in pinstripes.

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    • hk says:

      Agreed. A lot of the comments and even some articles on the Phillies-centric blogs are about the Yankees trading ARod to the Phillies because the Phillies need a 3B and there are no good free agent options at the position. What I don’t understand is why anyone expects the Yankees to trade ARod for nothing, pay the great majority of what is due to him and then face the Phillies situation of needing a 3B when none are available.

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      • Preston says:

        Well I think the Yankees could move Jeter to 3b and play Nunez at SS. Although who knows how Jeter would react to the move, and Nunez’s glove work is pretty inconsistent.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Jeter off SS? Yea, from a “hey, let’s do something that makes sense” standpoint it’s a good idea. However, from a “Derek Jeter is the toughest player ever and is the captain, he’s our SS” perspective, they won’t do it.

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  10. Sean says:

    Would moving off 3B make a difference? Perhaps he has more value to an acquiring team as a 1B/DH.

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    • Preston says:

      No, a lot of A-Rod’s current value is his defensive play at 3b, a better than league average offensive player who plays solid D at 3b is highly valuable. A better than league average offensive player at 1b and DH does not.

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      • Spike says:

        yeah he’s been a pretty steady 3Bman. In fact, I find it hard to believe he won’t hit 20 HRs a year for the next several yrs. That and playing a good 3B has plenty of value.

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  11. Ben says:

    If the Yankees trade Rodriquez, but pay almost all of his salary, does that part of his salary that they are paying continue to count toward their luxury tax limit? Or does the entire amount count against the receiving team’s cap?

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    • Preston says:

      Every penny they pay him continues to count against the luxury tax.

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    • Travis L says:

      Also curious about his milestone bonuses — up to $30 million could be added on if/when he surpasses milestones.

      He’ll provide more value than expected if he reaches some of them, but he could easily play poorly and still get half that.

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  12. Sean says:

    The only two guys with really bad contracts and no equity with the teams (Philly fans “like” Howard) are Lackey and Wells. The Yankees aren’t making a move with the Sox, so that leaves the Angels.

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    • Preston says:

      Except that A-Rod has value and Wells shouldn’t have a major league job.

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    • Bob says:

      And Lackey’s deal is terrible, but its not that terrible (assuming some of his troubles were attributable to injury). Lackey should be fully recovered from his injury and the Sox hold a ’15 option at the league minimum due to the injury, so he’s basically a 3/33. He could easily produce a WAR to justify those numbers over the next three years.

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    • Spike says:

      Wells has only 2 yrs remaining. A-Clod 5. I don’t see the Yankees as that desperate to get rid of him that they’d do something dumb. He’ll still be a 2-3 win player for a while.

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    • jim08 says:

      As a Sox fan I don’t mind Lackey’s contract that much after finding out he was pitching with a shredded elbow last year and skipping his bullpen sessions in between starts because of it. He’s owed $31M for the next 3 seasons, doesn’t bother me.

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  13. Gerry says:

    After seeing Boston get bailed out of three horrible contracts by the Dodgers, who knows how lucky the Yankees could get. I wouldn’t put it past a “win the offseason” team like the marlins, either LA team or the Phillies to eat most of this contract.

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    • nik says:

      So a team would “win the offseason” by taking on a guy who was just publicly shamed and embarrassed?

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    • enhanced performance says:

      Nobody has mentioned that the Yankees don’t like A-roid’s personality. While he is playing extremely poorly, he is unprofessional enough to try and pick up a bikini model (who was super cute btw). His subtraction is more than a baseball numbers issue to the Yanks and they are going to have to pay if they believe it is their best move.

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      • Berenjena says:

        If Jeter would have been the one throwing balls at the stands to hot chicks, people would have reacted differently “Aww, Jeter is so cute”.

        Gimme a break.

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      • vivalajeter says:

        yeah, i wonder how often this happens to a typical team. I can’t imagine this is something that Arod did out of the blue, and no other ballplayers have done.

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  14. Evan says:

    A-Rod also has his marketing agreement. He’s at 647 career HR now and is due payments of $6 million each for reaching 660, 714, 755, 762, 763 (if the record remains 762, but no one else could realistically get there before the contract ends).

    I think we have to assume that the first 2 are more or less a given. Not that he will definitely get 67 more HRs, but it’s hard to see how he provides decent value to the acquiring team over the next 5 years if he doesn’t.

    It’s hard to project if he’ll get 108, 115 and 116, but they are close enough together that we can lump them together (he could very well end up somewhere in the between after 5 years, but no projection can distinguish that precisely). But the acquiring team has to consider this a possibility. If he averages 23-24/year for the next 5 years the acquiring team is probably getting better performance than it expects, but will have it’s costs increase $6 million/year, but distributed unevenly. Does the team go under budget by those $6 million each year to prepare for the potential balloon payment or wait til later in the contract and prepare for it then? It’s not unreasonable to foresee a situation where whichever team A-Rod plays for will enter 2017 not knowing if it will owe him $20 or $38 million for the year, which could be very hard for most teams to budget for.

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    • MikeS says:

      Yup. The contract guarantees $119M but could be worth $149M. Would the receiving team recoup that money as well as the Yankees might for those milestones? I think a team can only make money off 762 and 763. Nobody is going to buy extra tickets with the idea of “hey, let’s go see A-Rod pass Mays!”

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    • Brandon says:

      wow, that’s disgusting. I can’t believe he has those milestone bonuses. Scott Boras is despicable. (And the Yankees deserve every mediocre moment A-Rod gonna give them for the next five years.)

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  15. NickB says:

    Reds should trade for him to replace Rolen just to ride the marketing buzz of his breaking the HR record in that bandbox. lol

    I’m a Braves fan so I’m not entirely sure what they have to offer, but I think it would make the team enough $$$ to offset the performance bonuses.

    (this post is only half joking)

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    • Tomcat says:

      This isn’t the worst Idea I had a similar thought about the Rockies acquiring him to replace Helton

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    • Jason B says:

      The Braves struggle to draw crowds as it is; I’m not sure that the addition of A-rod would be a significant draw, even as he approaches the HR record (if he managed to do so). Particularly given that one of the guys he’s running down, Hank Aaron, is still viewed by many (rightly or wrongly) as the ‘real’ HR champ or the ‘clean’ HR champ. I would imagine that sentiment really holds true for a lot of Braves fans.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      The Braves draw 30K a game. It’s not as bad as it looks on TV, it’s that Turner Field is huge. Still, I doubt A-Rod generates that much interest. Not to mention possibly alienating even more fans. The Braves seem to pride themselves on having ‘good guy’ players. You always hear about how they “do things the right way” and “have a business-like attitude”.

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  16. Los says:

    Now I am sure that this will never happen but last year the Yankees traded an aging veteran for some salary relief to this small market team in Pittsburgh. If the yanks eat enough salary, I would think it would make sense for the Pirates to reunite Arod & AJ.

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  17. SABRphreak says:

    People forget that A-Rod was injured in both of the past two seasons. He hasn’t performed up to his abilities dealing with the after-effects of the broken hand. If healthy, I see a .280/.370/30HR/15SB season next year. Let’s also not forget the $30M marketing deal for reaching HR thresholds (at $6M per).

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    • Bill says:

      That would be one of the best 38yr old 3b seasons in history I do believe. Regardless, the yankees deserve most of the blame for the awful contract, I can’t think of too many 3b, even elite, who have produced past 38. Schmidt had an excellent age 37 season I do believe, then got injured in age 38 and was retired in age 39. G. Brett significantly tailed off after 36, though he still hit for avg. Off all the 3b I looked up, here are there triple slash lines for age 38, 39 and 40. Even if Arod is one of the best players of all time, and I feel he is, 30hr I believe would be an alltime high by alot for a 38yr old 3b. I fear DH is in his near future, with luck he can age like molitor or winfield, without it could get ugly quick.

      Brett
      255/327/402
      285/330/397
      266/312/434
      Schmidt
      249/337/405
      203/297/372
      C Jones
      265/381/426
      275/344/470
      287/377/455
      Nettles
      266/341/446
      228/329/413
      261/363/420

      On top of that no one knows exactly how he is in the clubhouse, but at best he’s probably neutral, at best. If I was an NL team no way I would even give that guy a 2yr contract, so you can forget the Phils or Marlins above, that leaves only AL teams who need a DH, that Arod would accept a trade too. Anaheim, Seattle…that’s about it. Throw out other al east teams, detroit, chicago don’t need him with dunn and v. martinez, maybe oakland but I bet arod would veto. Texas doesn’t need him, the rest he would veto.

      Suck it up and pray yankee fans that he can at least put up c. jones numbers for a year or two, then it’s DH for sure.

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      • jim08 says:

        Would it really be that much of a surprise if he has the best season a 38 year old third basemen has ever had?

        He was the best shortstop on the planet through his 20s and he should go down as one of the best players of this generation, putting up elite numbers wouldn’t be new to him.

        I hope this doesn’t spark a steroid debate

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      • jim says:

        aramis ramirez was given a 3 year deal by an NL team. i fail to see a world in which a-rod couldn’t get a better deal in free agency, even at this point, than aramis ramirez

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      • Flharfh says:

        Aramis Ramirez is 3 years younger than ARod and has been a significantly better and healthier player over the past two years. I’d re-evaluate my world view if I were you.

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    • Jason B says:

      Can I take all of my money and bet the under on 15 SB? If anyone wants to wire me funds I’ll place your bets along with mine…

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  18. SABRphreak says:

    …and why would he waive his no-trade???

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  19. jcxy says:

    1. this was an ridiculously outstanding piece. the only thing i wonder about is the milestone incentive issue… does anyone know anything about what the #s are for when he gets #715, #755 etc etc?

    2. was marcel the name of the monkey on friends?

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  20. Ned says:

    What about a john danks for arod swap with cash going to the white sox?

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  21. hornblower says:

    Alex would have to approve a new home. I’m sure the Marlins would want him as a draw. If the Yanks were willing to pay his salary could they pick the best prospects that the Marlins have year by year.
    The assumption that he will play five more years is, I think, mistaken. His body is breaking down and his ability to play 3rd for an NL team is two years max. With hip problems and leg issues his base is shaky and even in his younger days he had some trouble with getting jammed. Now he really has problems middle in against righties.
    There is no way he will show up to play if he can’t perform. He will retire and leave the money on the table.

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  22. MikeS says:

    I don’t care who he gets traded to, I just hope he gets to play the Yankees in the post season next year and hits about 370/450/800. Then everybody in the five boroughs and beyond who ever uttered the words “True Yankee” will immediately die of apoplexy.

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  23. freeagencysucks says:

    Arod has been hurt the last 2 years.And he’ll probably be hurt again next year.And why not? He’ll be 39 years old with a lot of miles on that body. He is only human and he’s had a great career,he’s a lock for the HOF.
    Mr. Cashman has done a great job assemblying this team, but at an expense. He has signed several players to expensive long term contracts, Those contracts looked great at the time but those players are now getting inyo their mid to late 30’s with 4-5 years left on their contracts And tey’re getting hurt, and therefore much less productive.Arod is one. Tex is another. He’s been hurt this year and did not factor much in post-season. And he has regressed each of his last 3 years.Sabathia is another. He’s not 35 yet but is his body breaking down early because of all that excess weight he’s carrying? And Derek Jeter, the ageless one? A 38 year old shortstop with a broken ankle. Make that 39- that’s what he’ll be next year. What are the chances he’ll be even 75%,(but at 75% he’ll be as good as a lot of others at 100%.)? Or evn 50%?
    And the Yankees aren’t the only ones. The Red sox have their problems too. They got Ortiz with his achilles problem.That’s the same thing Garciaparra had and he was never the same. And he was younger, a lot younger. And Jon Lester- he’s regressed the last 2 years; will he ever get back to where he was before?
    Looks like in a couple of years the A.L.East is going to be upside down with the O’s and Rays leading the way and the Yanks and Red Sox fighting for the cellar. We can only wish ….

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  24. Nick Doyle says:

    Because of the money the Rangers ate to trade Rodriguez to the Yankees ($67 million), if the Yankees did not extend A-Rod they would have received 44.4 WAR for $112M, or 2.52M per Win, which any GM would have taken in a heartbeat. They extended him 7 Yrs and $194M above his remaining contract. So far, they have received 6.4 WAR in the first 2 years of the extension portion. If the article is correct that they would eat $80+M, then they would have ultimately paid roughly $114M for 6.4 WAR, or 17.81M per Win. This would be a case of the same organization making an equally great/awful transaction with the same player.

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    • vivalajeter says:

      Nick, I don’t think it works out quite that way. When Arod opted out of his contract a few years ago, that was the end of his original deal. He was no longer signed through 2010. So they could’ve let him walk away at the time (and they would’ve had an incredible bargain for the first couple of years he was with the Yankees), but they couldn’t just keep him around through 2010 on his original deal.

      As it turns out, they really got hosed with him opting out. Not only did they give him an absurd new 10-year deal, but they let Texas off the hook for the rest of his original contract since Texas no longer had to pay the $6-7MM/year that they agreed to.

      To my original point, you’d have to look at how much WAR he accumulated since he signed the latest deal with the Yankees; you can’t just look at how he’s done since 2010, since they didn’t have the option to keep him around until 2010.

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  25. Andrew says:

    Lesson learned. Never give a 32 year old who we all knew was on the juice 275M for 10 years. Really 275 MILLION DOLLARS. I could split that into 4 and approx 68M dollars and get 4 good players instead of one. 4 players all hit 10-25HR and bat from 280-320 perfect.

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    • jim08 says:

      He was probably the best player in baseball + it was a Steinbrenner deal (a dollar did not have the same value to Steinbrenner that it did to another team) + Cashman had no idea that a few years down the line his boss was going to drop the “we want to get under the luxury tax threshold” bombshell.

      Yes, its an awful contract but I actually have sympathy for GMs that have to negotiate with Scott Boras. That guy is inevitably going to be the first agent to be inducted into Cooperstown.

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  26. Ton says:

    The one factor not considered – his final 3 years are at 22, 21,21 mil, but his luxury tax # will be 27.5mil those years (AAV).

    If the Yankees cut him, the take the full luxury tax hit. If they trade him and pay nearly every penny, there is a substantial luxury tax gain for them. Say they trade him and pay 20mil per – that is the # used for the luxury calculation (saving 7.5mil). If the acquiring team is not near the luxury tax threshold they only will care about what they are paying him: 1-2 mil (as opposed to the 7.5 mil on the luxury tax calculation).

    So basically there is a little bit of an asymmetric value situation – assuming the Yankees stay near the luxury tax threshold in the future and are trading him to a team not near it.

    At some point if he’s so unproductive that the Yankees want to cut him they might consider picking up everything but the league min and package a mid level prospect so an acquiring team can then cut him. The Yankees would gain 7.5mil of “cap” space and the inquiring team would need to get a prospect at least worth the 0.5mil min (X however many years) or they could send back a contract they don’t want that is more than that.

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    • Ton says:

      inquiring = acquiring (damn autocorrect!)

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      This is a great point. I suppose it means that sending $100 to save $20 is a possibility, because it would actually be saving more on the lux tax bill. I guess I would shift my trade numbers a little. I’m not sure so much as you have. They only spent 40% on overage last year, $13.9 million… and they still have to fill a full team. I’m not sure exactly how to allocate the lux tax savings in such a deal without full knowledge of their roster and lux tax situation next year. But it deserves thought, thanks for pointing it out.

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      • Ton says:

        The 20mil was arbitrary just to put #’s so folks could understand my point – I agree that might be too far.

        My main point is even if he is not worthy of a roster spot, at some point it makes sense for the Yankees to eat a lot more than a normal WAR/$ type evaluation. And a smart small-mid market team might be able to make a few mil or get a fringe prospect and then just cut ARod post trade.

        At a 189mil threshold if the Yankees continue to operate at 200-210mil, even at a 50% tax rate (it jumps to 50% in the new CBA) is “only” ~5-10mi/yrl in tax; but if ARod puts him under it that can almost be factored in the trade eval (and also the ability to reset the rate back down to 17% the next time they go over).

        It’s also not just the luxury tax bill – there are provisions in the new CBA for not getting back local revenue sharing (not sure on the terms). This is what I believe is truly driving the Yankees to get under the threshold as speculative #’s I have seen put it at 40-100mil if the Yankees are under 189mil in 2014 and 15.

        If the Yankees do eat 20mil/yr they are “saving” the direct salary costs (19mil?) and the missed tax on 7.5 mil/yr (27.5-20) which at a 50% rate would be an additional 3.75mil/yr (~18mil). Of course this has a crude assumption that they will otherwise be operating over the threshold all those years with ARod.

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  27. Alvaro says:

    Yankees eat it, trade him to Minny for Mauer and his big contract.

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    • Ericpalmer says:

      And the Twins would make that deal because……? Only way they trade Mauer is for prospects, and at 38, I think A-Rod is a little past the “prospect” stage.

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      • Alvaro says:

        I was appealing to Pohlad’s cheapness, obviously this favors the yankees… but then I remembered he passed away years ago.

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  28. kiskis says:

    Motodating is dating and friendship site designed specifically for bikers. If you’re a biker babe or a biker boy and if you’re looking for love online then register here today.

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  29. BJsWorld says:

    Reasonable bad contract swap (assuming that one believes that Vernon Wells has at least nominal value):

    Rodriguez ($120m & 5 years) + $40M
    for
    Callaspo (arb eligible – appx $4m) + Wells ($42M & 2 years)

    Angels incur approximately $34M in additional contract costs (net of $80M remaining on his contract offset by $42M for Wells and $4M for Callaspo).

    This would give the Yankees a solution for 3rd base this season as Callaspo is perfectly serviceable at a reasonable cost. They can spend 2013 figuring out if they want to retain Callaspo, make a trade for a better 3rd baseman or see what the 2014 FA class brings.

    Meanwhile the Angels get a power bat. They get a big (if not hated) name. They roll the dice on a guy who has a ton of talent without taking a tremendous amount of risk (5 years is a lot but the $34M isn’t a big deal).

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  30. Barbara says:

    Please, God, let the Yankees keep ARod so they all sink again next year.

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  31. Rob says:

    It’s interesting you have to defend the notion that A-Rod is still a 3 WAR player. Even this most reason year, he registered 2.2 WAR, and that’s with missing over six weeks with a broken hand, and then not hitting well on his return for the final month. He was well on pace for another 3.5+ WAR season prior to the injury.

    Lost in the conversation is the broken hand, a type of injury that is well-documented in reducing a player’s ability to drive the ball initially. We saw that from A-Rod in September forward. It could be another six months before full strength returns.

    I expect teams will contact the Yankees on A-Rod hoping to get the Yankees to pay upwards of $100M. And say what you want about him, A-Rod is still a draw. He will create interest, helping the acquiring team to pay what little they hope they’re paying. Yet is won’t happen. The Yankees won’t be giving up a 3+ WAR player and paying most of his salary just for the heck of it.

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  32. BillyBall says:

    Here is a crazyyyy trade proposal.

    A-Rod and 65 million of his contract
    Cano
    Nova
    Nunez

    to the Marlins for

    Reyes and his remaining 90+mill (rumor mill is Marlins would like dump contract)
    Josh Johnson (in last year of contract)
    Either two top prospects or Mike Stanton whichever gets deal done

    Put Reyes at short.
    jete’s at third.
    Adams and Cojo at second platoon at second.

    Arod and Marlins Owner Loria are very close so this is feasible as Marlins would go for it next year and pack stadium with Arod and have money to resign Cano.

    Thoughts Bitches?

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    • Eric says:

      Don’t see the Yankees trading Cano. And highly, highly doubt the Yankees would want prospects thrown in a trade. Since when do the Yankees want prospects in return?

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  33. Richard says:

    Why not just a simple trade of ARod for Howard, maybe some cash or minor leaguers exchanged? Both have exhausted their stays with the current club.

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  34. Daavois Marketing And Design says:

    And as bad as Rodriguez has looked in the playoffs, there are reasons to think this particular nadir is temporary.

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  35. Doug B says:

    with all the hand wringing over A-Rod’s contract I’m wondering why people are not equally worried about Mark Teixeira’s remaining contract which is similar.

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