A rumor circulated around baseball after the New York Yankees fell behind 3-0 in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Keith Olbermann wrote on his MLB blog that benched former superstar Alex Rodriguez might be heading to the Miami Marlins.
Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com wrote that the rumor began when Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria made a remark to Yankees president Randy Levine about how Alex Rodriguez would become Mr. Miami. Supposedly Levine joked "you can have him."
As with any good joke, there is an element of truth to it. And all parties are denying it, which means it is probably true.
There is no doubt the Yankees would like to be rid of the former two-time MVP and hero of the 2009 postseason. He had five years remaining on his contract and well over $100 million still owed. And his production has plummeted in the years since re-signing with the Yankees after famously opting out during the 2007 World Series.
It has hit a new low for A-Rod as his team desperately needs offense after being shut down by Detroit's pitching and a veteran presence after Derek Jeter's injury. Rodriguez is not even being given a chance to fill either role. The slumping third baseman and designated hitter has been benched and was not even an option to pinch-hit in Game 3 against left-hander Phil Coke.
According to Erik Boland of Newsday.com, Rodriguez is not happy with being on the bench. "I really feel in my heart, anytime I'm in that lineup, the team is a better team without a question. So, we'll disagree there today."
He has been designated as worthless now. A .120 average with no extra-base hits should find any hitter to the bench. Where will he be in five years?
Keeping all of that in mind, why would the Miami Marlins want him? Even if the Yankees paid the bulk of his salary, like they did with A. J. Burnett when he was dealt to the Pirates, what role would A-Rod play in Florida?
His playing time has dropped, as have his power numbers and production. In 2007, his OPS was 1.067. In 2012 it was down to .783.
And his home run totals have dropped from 54 in 2007 to 16 and 18 the last two years. This drop coincided with his admission to previously using performance-enhancing drugs. This author is not necessarily making a connection between the two but simply stating facts.
A $29 million salary bought the Yankees a 2.0 WAR, plus he only played 80 regular-season games in the field in 2012 and clearly has lost many steps.
Even with his salary taken care of and maybe even Heath Bell taken off of the Marlins' hands, what role with Alex Rodriguez play?
Do they need a part-time third baseman with declining stats? They could get one as a non-tendered free agent with a lot less baggage and years on his deal than A-Rod has.
The Marlins foolishly dealt young third baseman Matt Dominguez to the Houston Astros in the Carlos Lee deal, but they acquired Zack Cox shortly afterwards from St. Louis, who looks to be the third baseman of the future.
The Marlins should be worrying about getting players who can still produce to play alongside Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Reyes.
Bringing the A-Rod circus to Florida would not make much sense, even with New York picking up the check. He would spark interest initially, but then five years would pass and A-Rod T-shirts would probably be in a bargain bin.
Alex Rodriguez was once a great player. Those days are gone, Marlins. There is no need to bring him to Miami.
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