Here We Go

The first A-Rod trade story has been posted. Interestingly, the author is Keith Olbermann, a guy who hasn’t been a sports reporter in a long time, but certainly has connections in the Yankees organization.

The Yankees immediately denied that they have talked to the Marlins, but I find this rumor somewhat plausible. Miami is the one logical place for A-Rod to go. He is from there and he would draw people to the ballpark. If the Marlins could get him heavily-subsidized by the Yankees I think they would do it.

I also think Alex would do it. For one, he would escape New York can play in a place he loves with a much more relaxed atmosphere. Also, he would save some money as Florida has no state income tax.

But, I don’t believe the Yankees are so desperate to get rid of him that they would be willing to pay almost all of his salary. For one thing, that would be a stupid move as A-Rod is still slightly above average with the bat and a good defender. For another, how would giving A-Rod away benefit the Yankees? They are still on the hook for his salary. And, the luxury tax calculation is based on the average annual value, so he will represent a hit of $27.5 million per year from 2014-2017, even though he will earn $24 million less than that amount in those years. If they are going to pull the trigger on an A-Rod deal they either need pieces back than can help or some salary relief. Otherwise, it just doesn’t make any sense.

The question the Yankees have to as themselves is if this is situation can only get worse. Is A-Rod inevitably going to decline and therefore become more and more of a liability? My eyes tell me yes and a recent projection run on him seems to confirm that.

Projections (BA/OBP/SLG, HR)
2013: .256/.339/.425, 16
2014: .251/.328/.405, 13
2015: .249/.317/.393, 11
2016: .241/.302/.364, 9
2017: .238/.292/.352, 8

This year the average AL thirdbaseman put up a line of .261/.320/.420, so Alex would be just above it in 2013 and starting to dip below it in 2014. This will be quite an offseason. Hopefully, we can avoid it for a few more days.