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A-Rod Not a Fit in Philly

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 18, 2012 01:44 PM | Comments: 37
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

As he’s busy being benched in the ALCS and reportedly handing out his phone number to hot female patrons in-game, Alex Rodriguez‘s name is being floated all over baseball. Will he or won’t he stay in the Bronx beyond this postseason.

One of the greatest sluggers in MLB history – even with the help of some performance enhancers – is wearing out his welcome in New York City and could be on his way out after this season. With a monster contract that owes him $114 million until 2017, it won’t be easy for Brian Cashman and company to unload him without picking up a massive portion of the check.

Playing the hypothetical game, what if the Yankees make Rodriguez available, pick up $90 million, and simply dump him, meaning there will be no other players changing hands? Should the Phillies get involved? The available third basemen on the market leaves much to be desired and A-Rod can likely still give you something. Although at 37-years-old, who knows how much that something is.

While it’s not the worst idea in the world, it’s not something the Phillies should pursue.

As we’ve learned this year, and in previous years (except of course the year the Yankees play the Phillies in the World Series) he stinks in the postseason. It’s gotten so bad, Joe Girardi has had to bench him.

During the regular season, his numbers are in sharp decline. Over 529 at-bats, A-Rod hit 18 home runs, knocked in 57 runs, and hit just .272 on the season. His .783 OPS was the worst of his illustrious career. Against righties, A-Rod had a .717 OPS, although he did kill lefties to the tune of a .924 OPS and eight homers in 173 PA’s.

The three-time MVP is bordering on defensive liability. At the hot corner, the Phillies have struggled to find a well-rounded player for a long time; really since Scott Rolen left town. A-rod is certainly no longer a dual threat.

Since 2010, Rodriguez’s defense has been on the slide. Placido Polanco could not stay healthy, but when he was on the field, few were better at third base. Polly’s Ultimate Zone Rating since 2010 ranks second, just behind Adrian Beltre, at 28.1; meaning that’s how many runs above average he has been at that position. Rodriguez’s UZR is just 5.4, and that’s after a slide of 3.9 this past season. The legs are getting heavier and slower, and it’s getting tougher to make the plays he used to make over there. By no means is he awful (yet), but that could be rapidly approaching.

So, he’s declining big time at the plate and in the field and would have to move from New York City to Philadelphia, a city equally, or perhaps more, harsh than the Big Apple. Certainly a parallel move.

One positive in all of this is that he SHOULD be in the mood to prove people wrong. It’s been an embarrassing playoffs for Rodriguez and guys of that stature oftentimes want to come back and rub it in the face of the team that shunned him. Regardless of if he’s dealt this offseason, he should be primed for a bit of a comeback if he works his ass off.

The reason I say no to A-Rod in Philly is because we’ve down a similar road with Polanco. The Phillies signed him for one year too many, and likely two years too many as he struggled to stay healthy following a decent first half of 2010 and first month of 2011. Even if you’re paying Rodriguez roughly $5 million over the final five seasons, which seems like a small amount on the surface, it’ll be a sunk cost in two-to-three years. Can the Phillies really afford more lost money with the Ryan Howard contract on the books? That $10-to-$15 million that could come in handy down the road.

Another issue that could likely be taken care of is that A-Rod holds a $5 million marketing agreement with the Yankees based on hitting home run milestones. So that’s an extra $5 million tacked on once he hits homer 660 (tying Willie Mays) and every home run milestone thereafter up to $30 million. Ugh.

With all of those elements together, it’s best to stay away from Rodriguez should he become available. It’ll be intriguing because of the name, the history, the possibility of power coming from third base, the weakness of the free agent market; but it’s best to look the other way. Too much money (even with the Yankees eating most) and most of all, too much drama. For A-Rod to have success, he either needs to hideaway in a market that will allow him to breathe, or he needs it to be a perfect situation: great supporting cast, able to settle for a lower lineup spot, doesn’t have to be center of attention on offense. It’s a lot to ask.

Now, my mind might change if the Yankees simply want to rid themselves of him completely and pick up $100 million or more, as Tim Kurkjian said on Mike and Mike Thursday morning. If the Phillies are paying $14 million or less over five years, that’s probably something you can deal with.

Here are some thoughts from twitter after I posted the question:

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1597 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    The oldest team in the league shouldn’t be adding 37 year old players with five guaranteed
    years left on their contract.

     
  • Posts: 0 phil

    I would take him in a heart beat at $3 million a year and consider it even at $5 million

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    To add a 3b better than Fransden… and someone that can hit LHP … for $5 M per year. I’d do it in a heartbeat … hit him 6th against RHP if need be, but among the options out there, this is far from a bad one.

    However, I can’t see A-Roid willing to accept a trade here… That’s how the Marlins got thrown into the mix, because it’s rumored that Miami is the only place he’d be willing to take a trade (although I have a hard time believing he wouldn’t welcome LA and all the ladies out there)..

    Unless we’re trading for Headley, or willing to bet that Asche is the real deal at 3b …. making a cheap-ish move for A-Rod would improve the club for the next 2-3 years, and while we have Halladay, Lee, Rollins here, should we continue to make a push

     
  • Posts: 13 Boto

    Avatar of Boto

    I don’t think A-Rod would be worth it at this point if the Yankees paid the entire $114 million and threw in another $10 million just for taking him.

     
  • Posts: 0 phil

    I also think the idea of trading Howard for a rod along with them eating one year of his salary should be addressed. We could play ruf at 1b and get a good 3b and dump Howard’s deal. Yes we all think a rod is a dbag but he is still a good ball player.

     
    • Posts: 13 Boto

      Avatar of Boto

      Yankees signed Teixiera long term (thru 2016) at 1B. They would have no use for Howard.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Howard would DH in that scenario.

         
      • Posts: 13 Boto

        Avatar of Boto

        The Red Sox are the only team left that uses a full time DH. I really don’t think the Yankees are going to want to pick him up as a full time DH.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    I’m glad to see this subject get some coverage here. I don’t know that a good amount of good discussion and ideas will emminate from it because it’s such a difficult subject to guage. How much of Rodriguez’s problems are injury related, and /or environment related, not to mention mentally related is so hard to gauge. Since tossing around the possibility of his becoming pretty available in my own mind about 3 weeks ago now, that ship has rocketed to seemingly very, and I maintain the Phils should be considering the idea of exploring an acquisition. That’s a good ways from aggressively doing so, but I just can’t decipher if he needs to make physical adjustments to regain some level of offensive authority, or if he’s cooked.

    One thing for sure in my mind. In consuderation of pursuit, the vslue hass to be considered
    in how much contract is taken on, and the risk reward has limits. This is not a guy returning to 40/125 days, and from a PR standpoint, this isn’t a Pete Rose who you hated as an enemy, and loved when he came to0 town. Alex is not a criminal, he’s said all the right things in recent days, but is a lightning rod for some combo of stupid or immature, and he doesn’t strike as the type to change. But he’s a righty bat, and if 20/80 is reasonable, and value classified in the salary structure, keep an open mind.

     
    • Posts: 0 Don M

      Ken is mighty attractive in his profile pic …

       
      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        Pretty good for a sex change op, huh?

         
  • Posts: 0 phil

    Howard can DH in New York. Plenty of use and an upgrade over an Ibanez/Jones platoon

     
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    AROD stinks as a person and he is starting to stink as a player. I hope he feels tremendous humility and contrition for his decline as a player and his spoiled-rotten personality. No way should he come to Philly.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    What are the other options for 3b ?

    Galvis? Great glove, can’t hit
    Frandsen … might be a decent bench player, not an everyday 3b
    Headley… would cost a ton in prospects to get him, though if we have the young-SP depth to land him, would be nice.
    Youkilis… on a one-year deal, i’d do it
    A-Rod… does $5 M over 5 years (even if we dump him after 3 years) really hurt our budget. in two years we get a new TV deal anyway, right?

    I’m far from the biggest A-Rod fan in history, but he’s a clear improvement over what we already have, and among the best options of what we don’t have …. I don’t see it happening, but wouldn’t be against it by any means

     
    • Posts: 4133 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      “What are the other options for 3b ?”

      I don’t know how viable this is, but it’s an answer to your question.

      Adrian Beltre- Owed 51m over the next three years. As a 6.5 WAR player- to compare, Miguel Cabrera is 7.1, he’s damn good. And if you believe in the ridiculous fangraphs $/WAR calculation, he’s worth at least 75 to 80m over the next 3 years. A bargain basement deal!

      Texas has to find room for Mike Olt. We can afford an AAV of 17m per year for Beltre, and it may not cost that much if they see the benefit of shedding payroll and getting their next star into the everyday lineup. But then there’s that pesky centerfield problem too.

       
  • Posts: 1135 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    A-Rod can play third for a year or two, after which you can move him to first base and employ the most expensive platoon there ever was there, with him facing LHP and Howard RHP.

     
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Who said $5 mil over 5 years? A-Rod is owed way more than that. Now, if we could unload Howard and his contract, and pay that amount, then maybe. Howard is a good guy with a bad contract. A-Rod is a bad guy with a bad contract.

     
  • Posts: 0 Joemo

    If you could get him for $3-$5M per year, it’s a no brainer. If the Yankees would also absorb Howard’s contract and use him as their DH, the Phillies should do this deal today.

     
  • Posts: 19 Moondog

    Avatar of Moondog

    Don’t the Phils have an unofficial policy about having dirtbags on their team? There is absolutely nothing ARod can do for Philly. Thirty seven and off the juice. No thanks.

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      No? Brett Myers had a nice little career in Philadelphia, even after he publicly abused his wife in the streets of Boston.

       
  • Posts: 9 jjfritz

    Avatar of jjfritz

    Why is it that no one offers the idea of David Wright? He’s still only 30, great numbers, more consistent than A-Rod, and would be a great fit batting between Utley and Howard or after Howard. We have plenty of prospects to make a trade like this happen, and it shouldn’t take everything since he’s entering an option year with nothing after. I would rather unload the minors for someone of his talent than waste time with someone like A-Rod.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      With several 3B prospects in the farm system, I don’t think it would be wise to trade a way cheap cost-controlled pieces to add another $15-20 million salary, and at third base at that. I’d rather see a place holder for a year while we see how Ache/Franco/Walding progress, and spend that money in the outfield. Frandsen could be that place holder.

      As for Wright, this was a comeback year of sorts for him after 3 decent-but-not-great seasons. His OPS by month: 1.064, 1.000, .989, .854, .721, .724. And in the end, I don’t think the Mets will let their most popular (or 2nd most after Dickey) player go.

       
  • Posts: 0 George

    The Yankees aren’t as stupid as many people optimistically seem to think. If they were actually willing to lose $90-100 million to get rid of A-Rod, he must be completely shot, and I certainly wouldn’t go near such a player. That’s one heckuva lot of money to drop when the front office in New York has been trying to cut their payroll; it’s entirely to much to be believed. Just because someone in NY doesn’t think he belongs just isn’t sufficient reason to flush all that money down the crapper.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Stranger things have happened. The Angles traded away Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera getting The Vernon Wells Contract in return. The Red Sox traded that Gonzalez, Beckett, and Crawford for next to nothing.

      I think the argument is that they’d be getting rid of him for “chemistry” reasons or because he’s a distraction and they’re mad that he hit on girls in the stands or whatever (and also because he’s in his declining years, which is certainly correct). But we would do well to remember that Alex Rodriguez’s declining years are much better than a year of the average third baseman in the game today.

      Phillies 3B in 2012: .289/.335/.370, wOBA .309, 5 HR, 27 2B, 3 3B, 0 SB/ 2 CS,
      Rodriguez in 2012: .272/.353/.430, wOBA .342, 18 HR, 17 2B, 1 3B, 13 SB/1 CS

      I’d take that production at third if it came relatively cheaply, no questions asked. A few years down the line maybe try to move him back to the AL where he can DH, or platoon him with Ryan Howard at first, since Howard can’t hit lefties and A-Rod’s developed a bit of a platoon split against righties. Either way, if he was cheap enough I’m sure they could make it work.

      (That said, this is all rhetorical masturbation. We’ll never see Alex Rodriguez in a Phillies uniform)

       
      • Posts: 0 hk

        If the Yankees had an obvious replacement at 3B waiting in the wings, I would think a trade to the Phillies would at least have some chance. However, I find it hard to believe that the Yankees, no matter how irrational they or other teams have been in the past, would give ARod away, pay $92M of his $117M to play for another team and then find themselves in the same place that the Phillies currently find themselves in regards to this barren 3B market.

         
  • Posts: 9 jjfritz

    Avatar of jjfritz

    Okay, maybe Wright isn’t the best solution, but definitely a better choice than A-Rod. Now, looking at the roster and our top prospects, everyone can agree that there a bounty of left-handed batters. We need drastic help at 3B, and 1 or 2 OF spots. As far as 3B, Asche, Walding and Franco are at the top of the list. No offense to Frandsen who played his ass off this year, definitely earning some attention. Asche and Walding are yet more LH batters. Unless Utley, Howard or Brown are gone, I don’t think we need any more LH bats. Not to mention the biggest talk is bringing in Hamilton or Bourn for CF — more LH bats. Maikel Franco seems to have a lot of potential — power hittting RH bat, with above average defense and consistency all around. Maybe it would be better to go after a RH hitting OF who could potentially help out at the top of the lineup, or elsewhere, and stick with Frandsen/MM for next year. Here are a few potential RH OF players who may be available for the right price — Carlos Gomez, Franklin Gutierrez, Chris Young, Jeff Francoeur, Corey Hart or even Hunter Pence. All who will be FA after 2013. Some questionable — yes — but a few who would, without a doubt, be better choices than what we have now, and come a lot cheaper than Hamilton.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Three things:

      1. Don’t worry about who’s left handed or right handed, worry about how they get on base. A lefty with a minimal to non-existent platoon, like, say, Chase Utley over the course of his career, negates any worry about those types of things.

      2. Don’t worry about what the lineup is going to look like in 2014. That’s a long time from now and there are going to be lots of personnel moves that alter any plans you might currently have for the opening day 2014 lineup.

      3. There isn’t much talk of bringing in Hamilton or Bourn. I mean, sure, there is on twitter and the blogosphere and whatnot, but the only things the Phillies have said about it were Charlie’s rather negative comments about Bourn at the end of the season. Hamilton is going to be out of the Phils price range, so he’s not coming here either.

      4. I laughed at your funny joke about bringing Michael Martinez back next year. Good one.

      5. While I agree that Wright is a better player than A-Rod, the point in these hypothetical situations is that A-Rod would come relatively cheaply (in both monetary costs and acquisition costs) as New York is looking to rid themselves of his bad attitude or playoff choking or whatever the heck the current narrative is. Wright would be MUCH more expensive to acquire, and thus is much more unrealistic an option, especially when we’re talking about just using a guy to fill the position for a few years until the prospects are potentially ready to take over.

       
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Ok, that ended up longer than three things. I’m wordy.

        Also, your list of potential RH outfielders is god awful. Jeff Francoeur was one of the worst players in the game this year, Hunter Pence is expensive for the slightly-above-average skills that he brings to the table, Gomez has a career .247/.294/.379 slash line, and Gutierrez hasn’t been healthy since 2010 and has played poorly when in the few ABs he has gotten since then. I guess Hart and Young are the cream of that crop, although I’m not really worried about filling the 2014 OF as of right now, before we know what to make of guys like Brown, Ruf, and whomever they sign this offseason.

         
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    On the surface, I’d take A-Rod at 3B for $4 million per year… but you have to also include his HR incentives into the equation. He hits 14 more HR and you owe him another $6 milllion… he’d have to hit 65 more for the next incentive jump but he should get that over the next five seasons, fairly easily, you’d think. So the real value of the deal would have to be looked at as $20 million + $12 million = $6.25 million per season for the next five seasons… for a 37 year-old defensively inept third baseman who is also a known distraction. You’re not going to be able to get rid of him so you have to be willing to swallow that money.

     
    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      Gooid point on the extra cost of the homers, Chuck. As if the 114 mil (not all of which’d be paid from the Phils pockets) wasn’t enough. When I first started tossing the thought around, I didn’t even look at the homer clauses, only 1 of which seems a near lock, Willie at 660, but it’s a consideration.

      I wouldn’t go so far as to call him defensively inept, but there’s some definite slippage in range.

      I think at this point, ny definition of drawing the line has revised down, still at least open to that righty bat at least, figuring on 20/80. Somewhat assumptive.

      I rather doubt he’ll be moved at this point, but we’ll see.

       
  • Posts: 0 BirmCori

    I would return every piece of Phillies gear I own and become a Red Sox fan if we signed A-Rod. There isn’t a player I loathe more in the league.

     
  • Posts: 0 Greg

    The Phillies are a .500 team. That is no illusion. One idiot Philadelphia sports write proposed that they were a 95-win team based on their hot six-weeks of August and half of September. All .500 teams have a good stretch. A-Rod will not make the Phillies a champion although he will improve things. I can;t see how his high profile image wil matter on a .500 team.

     
    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      Sources are reporting this morning that after reading your post, the Phillies have decided not to waste their time opening the gates in 2013. Can’t say I blame ‘em. I mean Opening Day V the Kansas City Royals? Puhleeze. See ya in 2014. Well, if you’re more optimistic then, at least. Maybe they respect your opinion to follow the lead 2 years in a row.

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      From the all-star break on they played at a 95-win pace. That was with a still-hobbled Howard, a less than effective Halladay, and a back down to earth Ruiz.

      Count me among the idiots then.

       
    • Posts: 4133 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      .500 teams win 81 games. The World Series bound Detroit TIgers won 88. The NLCS leading St. Louis Cardinals also won 88.

      Fewer games with key injuries, (of course that’s only if you consider your number 3 and 4 hitters key) and a few less 8th inning meatballs, then this team wins 7 more games without breaking a sweat. 95 wins? I don’t know, but most likely a few more than 88.

      That is no illusion.

       
  • Posts: 498 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Ahahahahahahah.. sorry I can’t take this A-Rod article seriously. No doubt Pat Gallen succeeded in getting a heavy amount of feedback on it. He knew in just mentioning A-Rod’s name here, it would get a rise from the fans. That’s ok.. it’s fun fantasy..good for a few laughs.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      It’s not all that funny; it’s actually a pretty good idea if the price is right.

       
 
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