Alex Rodriguez is a burden to the Yankees. His off-the-field attention plus on-the-field mediocrity has failed him in New York.
Yesterday the Mets made a bold (but smart) decision to remove Jason Bay despite the $21 million left on his contract. They decided it was time.
I think it’s A-Rod’s time.
But to lessen the financial blow, the Yankees could make a move that brings in a separate terrible contract.
Could the Yankees retrade A-Rod for Alfonso Soriano?
In 2004, the Yankees sent Soriano, cash, and a player to be named later (eventually Joaquin Arias who just won a World Series ring) for Rodriguez. It was the blockbuster trade that guaranteed the Yankees World Series titles for the next five years.
Today, it would be the blockbuster trade that ends A-Rod’s underachieving, borderline embarrassing run in the Big Apple.
Yes, the Yankees don’t need Soriano, or even want him, but a designated hitter, late-game pinch hitter, and occasional corner outfielder (Nick Swisher has played his last game in New York) would be of value.
Soriano’s team hasn’t won a playoff series since 2003. I’m sure he’ll trade a demotion for a real chance at a championship. Ichiro Suzuki did.
In what may be sports’ most immovable contract, Rodriguez is slated to make $114 million over the next five years – five more years of this.
No team will take him unless given a going-out-of-business discount. Plus, Rodriguez is a 10-5 player (ten years in the league, the latest five for the same team) so he can veto any trade.
With his home and heart in Florida, how about Rodriguez to the Rays, Soriano back to the Yankees, and Tampa prospects to the Chicago Cubs?
The poor, loveable loser Cubs have the equally inconvenient piece to rid. Soriano is owed $36 million over the next two years. If the Yankees pick up Soriano’s full contract, Chicago would gladly pay $36 million of Rodriguez’s contract to gain essentially “free” prospects and open up room on the roster. They might pay up to $40 million if the prospects are right.
The Yankees’ former second baseman strikes out way too much and is unequivocally overpaid – fits right in with the Yankees already. Chicago would jump to lower their salary, and I believe Soriano would return to New York (also a 10-5 player) where he was a fan favorite in the early 2000s.
The Yankees can rid themselves of the cancer into which Rodriguez has manifested and pay a smaller portion of his salary.
$114 million – $40 million = The Yankees eat $74 million.
The city of Miami wants Alex Rodriguez and vice versa. With A-Rod’s abysmal production since his fantastic 2009, the Yankees can probably get Miami to pay him $25 million over his last five years (including the prospect[s] they send to Chicago).
$74 million – $25 million ≈ $50 million
Get: Tampa prospects
Give away: 40 million to pad Rodriguez’s salary
Give away: Alfonso Soriano to Yankees
New York Yankees
Get: Alfonso Soriano
Give Away: Alex Rodriguez to Miami
Lose: The remaining $50 or-so million on Rodriguez’s contract
Get: Alex Rodriguez ($25 million over five years)
Give Away: A prospect or two to Chicago
When all is said and done, why cant this work?
Brian Cashman and the Yankees have declared publicly they are trying to get below the $180 million mark for luxury tax relief, and with Soriano they would only owe $18 million per year over the next two, versus about $23 million per year over the next five.
The best trades are the ones where all parties improve. At this point in Rodriguez’s career, the Yankees will benefit from a divorce, the Cubs can win some prospects, and Miami gets street value for a fun, back-page player who wants to be there.
Do you think Derek Jeter could talk Scott Brosius out of retirement?