Alex Rodriguez is having a bad postseason. That is putting it lightly. His current slash line currently rests at .130/.200/.130 with 12 strikeouts in 23 at bats. He only has 3 hits, which is the same amount as St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Chris Carpenter. This abysmal hitting has gotten A-Rod pinch hit for late in games twice, and is now sitting on the bench for tonight’s Game 5 against the Detroit Tigers for the second straight night. Rodriguez has never had the reputation as a good postseason performer (save for 2009), but his benching has led many to wonder if Rodriguez may not get the chance to start for the New York Yankees in a playoff game. Could A-Rod be traded?
Rodriguez’ production has been unacceptable by New York Yankees standards. Even during the regular season his season was decent, but certainly not what the Yankees expected when they gave him the biggest contract in baseball history. Rodriguez hit .273/.353/.430 with 18 home runs. Add in his reputation for not performing in the postseason, and it is easy to see why he may been the outs in the Bronx.
The big question remains who would want him? Or perhaps more importantly, who could afford him? According to a report by Keith Olbermann on his blog “Baseball Nerd” and his sources, the Yankees would pay nearly all of A-Rod’s $114MM through the next 5 seasons. So that opens the door for any team who needs help at third base. And if the Yankees dangle Rodriguez in a trade offer, many teams would make room for him. Realistically though, where would A-Rod go? Keeping in mind that he has veto power over any trade, and he would most likely prefer a major market, there are only a few logical destinations.
Los Angeles Dodgers-
The Dodgers have recently begun using a currency formerly unknown to the baseball world, in which the dollar means nothing. Their new ownership group came ready to spend, allowing them to acquire Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Joe Blanton, Nick Punto, and even put in a waiver claim on Cliff Lee. Money is clearly no object, which could entice the Yankees.If the Dodgers are willing to help pay for A-Rod’s services, the Yankees would obviously be off the hook. Third base was even the one spot where the Dodgers did not have a solid everyday player, instead rotating between Luis Cruz, Juan Uribe, and Punto. While a deal is considered unlikely, it was also considered unlikely that they would acquire Ramirez and Gonzalez and company, so anything could happen.
Chicago White Sox-
If Kevin Youkilis leaves Chicago, that leaves the White Sox with a gaping hole at the hot corner. After stumbling down the stretch in September and losing their stranglehold on the AL Central, they may be looking to make a splash this offseason, and is there a bigger splash than A-Rod? Since their World Series title in 2005, they have made the postseason a grand total of one time. They need something to electrify a frustrated fan base, and selling #13 jerseys might be just the thing.
If Rodriguez was being considered for a trade at this time last year, the Marlins would have already acquired him. Their free spending lured Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell to South Beach, and they also offered a monster contract to Albert Pujols. After selling off Ramirez mid-season and a last place finish, they may be a bit mort thrifty with the players they bring on. That being said, if the Yankees are truly willing to absorb his entire contract, the Marlins are the most likely destination for the future Hall of Famer. Rodriguez was drafted first overall in the draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Westminster Christian High School in Miami. If the Yankees came to Rodriguez and asked him to waive his no trade clause to go home, it is highly unlikely that he would decline.
The Yankees are fed up with Rodriguez for not performing. Rodriguez is fed up with the Yankees for benching him. It’s a vicious circle that always goes the team’s way. While Rodriguez is no longer the perennial MVP candidate he once was, he can still be counted on for a .275 average, 20 HR, 80 RBI if healthy, possibly even more without the added scrutiny of New York media. Alex Rodriguez is still A-Rod, and if he is available and the Yankees are willing to deal him, he will be dealt. My humble prediction- Rodriguez plays his next regular game as a Miami Marlin.